Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Changing Pespective

My kids are growing up fast. Faster than I ever thought possible on that beautiful April day that my firstborn came into the world; impossibly small, dismayingly vulnerable, surprisingly loud and wondrously whole. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that in the blur of sleepless nights, endless feedings and diapers too numerous to count, my tabula rasa newborn was growing into a sentient being with frightening speed. The milestones flew by while I attempted in vain to chronicle each and every second through the miracle of modern video archiving.

Along the way I began to realize that each phase had its unique advantages, heartbreaks and challenges, and that each one was successively more remarkable. I began to enjoy the progress, look forward to the small freedoms, and not lament the losses quite so much; though of course, I will always ache for that sweet baby smell and the tug of a small mouth at my breast. I doubt that ever goes away. I imagine that the most aged crone still remembers the downy contours of her infant’s head.

After a while I understood that I was living my life behind the lens instead of in front of it with my children. I was so concerned with recording their lives, that I was often absent from them. If you were to peek into our family photo albums and video library you would find that the flood of photos and videos gradually decreased to a slow trickle. Instead of endeavoring to capture each and every second, I resolved to experience them.

Those “ordinary” moments are filed away in my mind, and I find that I can recall them easily in great detail because of the fond associations formed through those shared experiences. I can’t do laundry without being reminded of my oldest son’s first day at the neighborhood pool; he marched in with pail in hand, water wings flapping comically, sunscreen slick and frighteningly fearless. The smell of chlorine or coconut brings it rushing back with aching clarity.

My children are now both school aged. In truth, I expected to be crushed to no longer have them with me. I expected to be lost, and I was a little, at first. But the day that my youngest entered kindergarten, the urge that struck was not to dissolve into tears, but to caper maniacally in my empty home to raucous rock music; unmindful of waking a baby or drowning out Blues Clues. It was a phase that gave me back my sense of self after being on the job for 24 hours a day for 10 solid years. As each phase has, it taught me to rejoice in the increasing independence of my children.

I find, to my surprise, that I no longer experience that deep, sweet uterine twinge when I encounter an infant or a toddler. I can stand strong when assailed by the scent of baby powder. I am steadfast even when holding a warm and boneless newborn in my arms. I can revel in and appreciate the miracle, without needing to create on of my own. It’s a day that I never thought would come. I thought I would always want more babies. I never thought I would be “done”. But I am. And instead of being the sad, used up feeling that I thought it would, it’s a feeling of liberation and anticipation. Just because my boys are growing up does not mean that the mommy chapter of my life has come to a close. I’m ready to turn the page and continue the adventure with my boys, who are fast becoming men.

Do I miss my babies? Sure I do. But they are always with me. And memories don’t need night nursing, or bottom wiping.

I'm not even 40 yet, but I find I am looking forward to being a grandmother. Squeezing and kissing and rampant coddling without the responsibility for molding and shaping. I can't wait.

14 Comments:

  • At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Sherry said…

    WOW....I think this is the perfect post!
    You are a great writer. I miss my babies so much. I always wanted more babies well into my 40's. I have written poetry about it and have never forgotten those wonderful memories....it is all so bittersweet.
    I am now waiting to be a Grandma.
    Congratulations on your perfect post....sent here from MommaK.

     
  • At 7:39 PM, Blogger sunshine scribe said…

    Congrats on the perfect post! Well deserved indeed.

    I loved this one even more. I can relate so well - I used to dread the end of each stage only to be more struck by the next one that my son would grow into. I still do get that uterine twinge though. When does that end??

    Thanks for sharing this beautifully written piece.

     
  • At 7:40 PM, Blogger MrsFortune said…

    I think I shall print this out and put it on my refrigerator. Your site is like a training bra for mommies. :0)

     
  • At 9:05 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    I'm going to ditto what Mrs. Fortune said and add that your site is like a primer in Mommyhood. I value all this advice that you provide (even if you don't think of it as advice).

     
  • At 10:11 PM, Blogger Jess Riley said…

    This was BEAUTIFUL!!! I always know I'll read something moving, meaningful, and well-written here. Thank you!

     
  • At 10:24 PM, Blogger Mom101 said…

    How is it that day after day you churn out such poignant, well-crafted, thoughtful posts? Can't you just have on klunker? One? You put the rest of us to shame.

    I love your line about appreciating the miracle without having to create your own. I would hope that's what we all strive for.

     
  • At 10:38 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    HEY! I've had klunkers. That hair post was pretty stupid. But, I did cheat on this one. I wrote it a while back and didn't post it until today. I just did some tweaking and threw it up there. I could ask the same of you Mom1o1. You never have klunkers either!

    Thanks to all of you for your kind comments. Bittersweet is exactly right. A training bra for Mommies...too funny. Sunshine...I don't know when it ends. It kind of snuck up on me, and sometimes, in very, very rare moments, it still asserts itself. Maybe it's the nature of womankind to always feel that need to some degree. Maybe it's nature's way of making ensuring the longevity of our species. ((shrug))

     
  • At 6:48 AM, Blogger nursevl said…

    Well said! I recently gave away my maternity clothes...something I had difficulty thinking about until just recently. I have 3 fabulous boys, and they are exactly and perfectly enough. I am looking forward to my youngest (3) starting school for obvious reasons! (rock on)

     
  • At 1:17 PM, Blogger Antique Mommy said…

    Your essays (I won't reduce them to "posts") remind me of how my mom used to peel an entire apple around and around without breaking the skin. It was mesmerizing to watch her slowly circumnavigate this ordinary thing with a sharp knife. And then at the end she would present me with this fabulous juicy meaty sweet apple. And I would wonder, why can't I do that? That is what your posts are like. And the left over slinky peel was cool too.

     
  • At 1:25 AM, Blogger mommy on the verge said…

    very sweet post. Lets enjoy the sweet ride of parenting!

     
  • At 8:55 AM, Blogger kim said…

    You put into words something that took me by surprise this year, I look at babies without longing. I'm actually just enjoying the ride. I feel like a survivor. My husband and I made it through infancy, toddlerhood, and pre-school. We are greyer and wrinkled but, still alive and kicking,and the kids only have a few scars.

     
  • At 12:11 PM, Blogger Her Bad Mother said…

    The best piece of advice that I received in the early weeks of WonderBaby was to really make the effort to savor every moment - good and bad - of her life, because it would pass so quickly. So, so true, as you express so beautifully.

    Learning to live in the moment: the biggest lesson of motherhood/parenthood?

     
  • At 3:08 PM, Blogger Callisto said…

    I'm struggling with the reality that I'll not have anymore babies. But the thought of playing my own music, as loud as I want it, whenever I want... well it helps a lot. So, thanks for that.

     
  • At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Izzy said…

    As always, a beautiful and thought-provoking post.

    When I did my CHBM "Member of the Week" interview, I opted to give a piece advice when they asked me for some. It was to savor every second you have with your kids and live in the moment as much as you can because it goes so fast.

    But you said it much more eloquently...

    Thanks :)

     

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