I've Got A Fever Burning Inside Of Me
It's the kind of thing that could really send him into a tailspin.
Can I rely on your discretion? Promise? Okay...
The Coach's wife has a baby. He is 7 months old. Some of you have heard me mention him a time or two in previous posts.
She is a year older than me and the baby was a "surprise". Surprised though they were, they have come to realize that their family was just not complete without him.
He is a beautiful baby and pretty happy go lucky. One has to be, I suppose, when one has two older siblings with hectic schedules into which one must fit.
It's hard to be away from home with a baby, even a happy go lucky one. And like both of my boys, he eschews stroller sitting. He wants to be where the action is. He spends most of the games standing in her lap, jumping up and down. What he'd really like to do is get down and join the big boys on the field and it won't be too terribly long, in Mother years before he really does.
That, as many of you know, can wear a Mom out. So I try to help his Mom by taking a turn or two holding and playing with him.
This elicits very contradictory feelings in me. Sometimes, it makes me very, very wistful and sad. Sometimes it causes a profound longing. But sometimes, it makes me enormously grateful that phase of my life is over. Sometimes it makes me very, very glad that my children can dress, bathe, and feed themselves.
Tonight, poor baby H was very, very tired. But again, like both of my boys, he's not one to miss anything. So he fought the fatigue with everything he had. During the game, his Mom asked me to hold him while she went to move the car closer to the field.
I rocked and swayed and marvelled at how the knack really never leaves a body once it has danced that mother dance. He sang to himself in a way that was so familiar...Diminutive One used to sing himself to sleep that way. I ached down deep inside when I realized I would not have remembered that sweet, insignificant little thing if not for baby H. And I ached to know that I would forget it again.
After a while, his head began to dip and bob, and then finally, lay heavy and warm upon my shoulder. His body went limp in that boneless way only babies can manage.
When the slow and steady rythym of his breathing assured me that he was deeply asleep, I eased into my chair and sat with him in my lap, enjoying the feel of his body slumped plumply against mine.
His mother reappeared and asked if I wanted her to take him.
"No...not just yet." I said. "Relaxe and enjoy your freedom while it lasts!" I joked.
And so we sat, the two of us, in the fading light of a summer day, with fireflies flitting about, and the smell of honeysuckle and freshly raked dirt and teenaged boys wafting through the air. I plucked a ladybug from his sweaty head and patted his back when the cheers of onlookers caused him to stir.
I felt a sense of peace. I felt a sense of loss.
I felt a sense of "GIVE IT BACK I WASN'T DONE WITH IT YET."
And I had to admit...Goddamnit...I miss this.
Remember...Mum's the word.
ADDENDUM: Just so you know, the irony has not escaped me. I know I was just bitching and whining about the children that I do have, and now I'm longing for more. But babies are so sweeeeeet. I never resented my babies, no matter how many times they woke in the night, or how many times they pulled every single book off the book shelf or how many times they rubbed peas in their hair. It's what they're supposed to do. It's their way of discovering the world and their place in it.
A 10 year old who deliberately flouts household rules is not discovering anything other than just how crazy he can make his mother. A 13 year old who leaves a trail of debris behind him just because he can is not trying to find his place in the world, he's just being a pain in the ass.