Sunday, April 27, 2008

A letter to Thumper, part 2

My sweet son (a.k.a. "Thumper"),

Here you are. You've been a part of our family and home life for over three months now. And everyone was right -- nothing will ever be the same again. Before you arrived, I thought that when people said that, they meant that our sleep schedules, weekend agendas, evenings out and TV programming would all be forever changed by your addition to the family. And they have. But the deepest way I understand that phrase is entirely different. Let me try to explain.

I always knew that having a baby would be a full-time job. No surprise there. But while I imagined the diaper changes, night feedings and marathon soothing sessions, I didn't fully "get" how completely loving you would consume me. Now I understand that each day is made up of a million tiny tasks, all of them equally important to me. Yes -- you are fed, changed, cleaned up and held. You're walked, rocked and bathed. You're swung, bounced, mobiled and toy-ed. But you're also "re-binked" when the pacifier falls out of your rosebud mouth, countless times. You're re-covered when your blanket slips. Your clothes are smoothed out so you don't lay on wrinkles and get little creases in your satiny skin. Your laundry is done EVERY day (!!) with special detergent so your skin isn't irritated. Your burp cloths and onesies and bibs and socks are folded neatly and sorted out to be within arm's reach when they're necessary. Your diaper stacks are refilled, your powder and lotion levels checked, your medicine prepped, your swing batteries replaced, your mobiles wound, your toys recovered from around the house, and your blankets are folded, ready to swaddle you before naptime. Each day is nothing more than a collection of a million tiny acts of love, and that's not even counting the kisses, hugs, snuggles, cuddles, hair-smooths, head-sniffs and hand-holds that you get every day. You will never know how much love went into every touch, every little thing around you. And that's ok -- because nothing could make me happier than knowing that everything about your life, every fiber of your existence, was created with joy and in delightful anticipation of you.

You're still a little guy, and you sleep with me every night. I lay you in the bend of my arm, and then I lay down to face you, so that we're almost nose to nose, and I can open my eyes to see that you're safe and sleeping. Not only do you sleep in a hug, I curl my legs up so that your toes touch my legs. I literally curl myself around you all night. And that's what you've done to my life -- given it a new center around which to mold my tasks, thoughts, decisions, hopes and fears, each and every day. You'll soon grow big enough to handle sleeping on your own, in your own room and bed -- and yet somehow I know that though I won't be wrapped around you at night, my heart will still be entwined around you, my love for you doing its best to protect you from illness, injury, pain or discomfort.

So sleep, sweet baby, and know that you're loved. Know that whatever you are doing -- playing, eating, napping, fussing, laughing, learning, growing -- your mom is with you, doing what she can to help and hold you, keep you safe. There'll come a day when I have to start letting you make your own mistakes, when I can't stand in the way of something that may cause you pain from which you'll grow and learn even more. Know, too, then, that I'll be feeling those barbs and stings right along with you. For now, though, all that I am is poured into being a good mommy to you, and I have never been more fulfilled, happier, more enriched, more full of life than I am in loving and knowing you.


1 comment:

RitaJeane said...

I just shed a tear- you are a phenomenal mom!