First off, I know that you are not babies.
But, I also know that when I feel one of you reach for me in the middle of the night,
or smile as you greet me with sleepy, almond-eyes first thing in the morning,
or kiss your eyelids as you slumber,
it’s just like you are my little babies all over again.
It has been a long time since I have written a post, babies, but I realized that if I dictate a post and then put it into this little window here it allows me to share things with you without having to violate my “screen break” rules.
When I wrote about how hard it is to be a parent, we were only just embarking upon this new chapter in our lives.
I thought being a parent was hard THEN! It has gotten harder.
As always, it has also gotten more magical; remember, that is why we all have two hands.
We had an emotional summer, with storms that shook our house, both literally and figuratively.
But, I am not writing to you to dwell on the hard stuff. We know the hard stuff.
I am writing to you to memorialize the special stuff.
When I started writing this blog, a whole nine years and three months ago, it was my way of chronicling life in real time. I did not want to forget any moments. Thousands of posts later, I still want to keep this online baby book, for my babies who are not really babies at all.
But, like I said,
and in the words of Mariah,
you’ll always be my baby (babies).
It is a cloudy, September afternoon. Beau, you are downstairs with daddy, eating “Taylor ham, made from bacon pigs, not pig pigs, hot, but on a cold plate, extra floppy.”
You crack me up, kiddo. You just said to daddy, “You know, if you want, you can make me some Taylor Ham. And, you know, if you want, you can give me a bowl of Rice Chex and an icy cold glass of milk. And, you know, if you want, you can give me the Rice Chex while the Taylor Ham is cooking.”
I never want to forget your mastery of language, and the quirky-adorable-hilarious-brilliant way you say things.
(Recently, you got so mad at your sister for tricking you into smelling a yucky essential oil.
“It’s on my hands!” you shouted to me.
“It is on my hands, but it is hovering over my hands and up to my nostrils! This is horrifying!
I smell like an ANTIQUE SHOP!“)
Belle, you are in your room, and I just brought you a mug of hot cocoa with whipped cream and an inappropriate slogan. Some people would judge me for giving you something like this (both the cocoa and the inappropriate mug), but you guys know that even though I sometimes say “bad words,” I never say the worst word: hate. As long as you abide by that, I am cool with you knowing a lot of words. And having hot cocoa as an appetizer.
You continue to amaze me, sweet girl. This morning, you asked us if you could make us breakfast, and brought daddy a green smoothie in bed. You have such a big heart.
I just got home from physical therapy, and I had an experience there that made me think of you.
I did not want to forget.
I was having my bad back pain, and some nerve pain was shooting down my arm (this happens a lot lately – something that I am less eager to remember, but still) so my physical therapist decided to try a new position on me.
She sat me on a raised mat, and pulled her stool right up to me so that she was facing me, just inches away. She pressed into my belly, next to my rib, with her hand, and told me to lean into her hand as I bent forward. This made my arm hurt and my hand get tingly, so she told me to place that arm over her shoulder as I leaned in, like a half hug.
As I sat there, leaning into my physical therapist, I was immediately brought back to the operating room at Lankenau Hospital, at that very same time in the afternoon, on a Thursday, almost six years ago.
I was getting ready to receive my epidural -
which means I was actually getting ready to meet you, Beau -
and I was scared.
That is the truth. I was really, really scared.
Anna, the medical student assigned to my surgery, told me to lean forward and drape my arms over her shoulders. She instructed me to lean into her, and to hug her, and she held me, gently, as the anesthesiologist put the medicine into my back.
Even though this summer was a doozy, there are some really special moments I want to remember.
Beau, I cherish the time we spent “chit chatting” on the unicorn float. The hours we spent there, being cozy in the sunshine on the black and white striped towels, talking about horror movies, and Pokemon cards, and life, were some of the most lovely moments I have ever had. I loved finding Lemon the white frog with you, and teaching you to play baseball in the garage, and watching you do flips and handstands in the water. I loved playing charades with you, especially as you’ve become an expert on Titanic, The Bachelorette, and the characters from Donkey Kong.
Bellie, I loved our s’mores dates on the front patio. I am so proud of you for so many reasons, including your love of absolutely charred marshmallows, burnt into oblivion. I had the best time playing basketball with you (you and Zeyds against daddy, Bubs, and me), and hearing you sing “Arabian Nights” in your play, and sitting on the porch swing with you as you helped to edit the picture book. I loved watching “Now and Then” and “The Sandlot” with you for the first time, and I agree that you’re totally a Sam, with maybe just a little Teeny mixed in.
My favorite memory of all, though, I think, is from the last night of summer at Fox Hollow, when the four of us played “Truth or Dare” in the hot tub. I bet you didn’t expect me to actually jump in when you dared me to sing, “Shallow” on the ledge of the deep end! I loved listening to music, and watching the lights change colors, and watching you make each other laugh in the way that only you two can.
My dear babies I love you more than I know how to convey. My brain is still healing, and so this is not my most eloquent piece of writing, but it captures a few moments like grainy polaroid pictures; they aren’t the highest quality, but they are often the most raw and real. I will keep working really hard to get my brain back to normal so that I can write polaroid posts by choice, rather than by necessity.
Beau, I think you’ve just finished your exquisite dinner (extra floppy pork roll FTW!) and Belle, I am going to snuggle up with you, Tina Turner, Twinkle Ra Ra Rainbow Ta Ta, and Pinkberry, because you told me that you’re still not feeling so hot. And I will kiss you, because I do not care if I get your cooties.
They are my favorite cooties.
You are my favorite things in this world.
as they say, life can be tough, but so are you. So are we.
And, when you read this, I guarantee I will love you so so so so so much more than I do right now.
Because I love you more with each breath.