Moments of Magic
There are moments when I look at my life and my heart feels full to capacity. Moments when I think I might actually explode from all the love I have for my little family. Moments when I can hardly believe how much I’ve been blessed in this life.
It’s strange, to me. For a long time I didn’t think I would ever feel this way. But I think being on the other side of loss makes you more appreciative of what you still have. Of what you will have.
Eli is coming up on six months already. Kadon will be two and a half. It’s a busy time. A lovely time. January is the month of calving cows. Sheldon has spent most of his days and nights outside. But even amidst the chaos, I feel at peace. Happy. Content. Hopeful.
I know parents love to talk about the hard stuff. The tantrums. The sleepless nights. The battles of getting a child to eat, to sleep, to go in the potty. To stop crying. To start talking. To stop running. To be quiet. To be obedient. To be independent. To play nice with others. There’s so much we have to teach our children. And so much of it we are doing when we are operating on little sleep and even littler stores of patience.
And I’m there, too. I’m so there. Kadon hit the height of his terrible twos are the same time Eli was born. He wasn’t a jealous older brother; he wasn’t overly needy. But he was suddenly a defiant, loud, melty-down, toy throwing, tantrum throwing little beast. Eli was… well, Eli was a newborn. He didn’t pick up on the whole breastfeeding thing very fast, and he thought two hour stints of sleeping at night was plenty (he still does, most times) and he thought parties at 3am were perfectly acceptable.
Honestly, those first couple months are kind of a blur. I remember dealing with a melt down with Kadon, and then looking back on it cringing, knowing I hadn’t handled it well. I remember talking to Sheldon and just starting to cry because I felt so worn down, and helpless and tired, and I felt like I was failing as a mother.
I remember crying in the middle of the night because Eli wouldn`t latch properly, and I was so sore, and so tired, and I knew in just a few short hours my day would begin and I was supposed to not only be up but also on and ready to engage my two year old in our daily life.
Those first three months after you have a baby are a magical, horrible time. It`s a transition time. Your body is healing, and your baby is learning how to survive outside the womb. Your family is adjusting. You are sleep deprived and emotional, and somehow, as the mom, you are still setting the tone for your family`s well-being.
Oh, but it is magical. Watching Kadon love on Eli. Holding a tiny infant, feeling your heart expand as you are filled with an almost tribal, wild, do-anything-for love. Watching your husband hold his boys, with nothing but pride and love on his face. Feeling like you`ve conquered the world when your baby boy finally figures out how to eat. Feeling like you possess magical powers when both kids are down for a nap at the same time.
And now, as the transition time has faded away and life with two children at home has become the new normal, the magic just continues. My days are filled with baby cuddles, giggles, coos, and big gray/blue eyes staring at me like I am the best thing in the world. My days are filled with puzzles, colouring, cars, trains, cartoons, story books, pretend meals, the loudest pretend airplanes and trucks you’ve ever heard and blue eyes full of excitement, wonder, vim and vinegar, and silliness. There are moments of screaming, of anger, of impatience. There’s moment of awe as I watch him develop, learn, discover, and explore. Every day he’s adding to his vocabulary. He’s learned the art of the “pleeeeeaaaaaaaaaase, mommy.” He loves to pretend he’s being chased, he loves to take my hand, and he loves it when I dance along with him to the songs on his cartoons. He wants me to clap, to rock him, to read to him, to hold his hand, to feed him… and then he wants me to let him do it… “me do it!” is what I’ve been hearing these days.
It means that pulling his pants up takes 12 minutes instead of 12 seconds. It means I get to stand in the bathroom and hope he is paying attention, because he doesn’t want too much of my help anymore. He wants to put on his clothes, to put on his boots, to turn on the lights… he wants to try. Because he’s getting bigger, he’s getting older. And his independence is necessary, if also a little frustrating… and a little sad. He doesn’t need me as much anymore. Not in the same ways Eli still does. But when Kadon comes rushing back, or when he gets tired of wrestling with his underwear I hear, “You help me, mommy?” and my heart melts and I help him and I cherish the moment, because all too soon these moments will be gone as well.
They are magical moments. I don’t always feel the magic. Not during a temper tantrum, or when Kadon won’t eat, or won’t stop running in circles, or won’t stop making siren noises, or won’t let me leave him with a babysitter without screaming. Or when Eli is fussing for no reason, or when he can’t make up his mind if he wants up or down, or nursed or not. At 3am the moments don’t always feel magical. But I don’t want to be 40 and only then look back and see the magic. I want to see it now. I do see it now. I love these moments, these crazy, wonderful moments full of young children. This is my life right now. God-willing, this will be my life for another few years, before we enter the stage of no more babies or toddlers. I hope I find the magic in those stages, too. But for now, I am happy is this baby-making, baby-raising, toddler-chasing stage. In between the diapers, spit-up, poo-nami’s, noise, and melt-downs, there’s magic. Don’t miss it.