UNO

As I lay here in the quiet of the early morning, I realize that life passes me by very quickly these days. I no longer have downtime to sit around and really contemplate things. Right now, my life seems to be a jumbled mess of hasty and sometimes irrational decisions.
We just celebrated my son’s first birthday last weekend. How can that even be possible? In so many ways I feel like a year has gone by so fast. Then, I remember back to those long and very lonely nights when he would wake up several times and my days seemed so long and never ending. I read another blog tonight where the mom was talking about how some parts of your life turn into this blur while you have kids, then all of a sudden, you wake up one day and they can talk, walk, feed themselves, dress themselves and don’t require diapers. She called this moment of realization for her the “sweet spot.” That small window in life when your kids don’t necessarily NEED anything from you, but they still WANT you there with them.
Life is funny. You live for your kids and nothing else matters…or at least it seems that some things begin to matter less. Over the past year, I feel like I have changed so much. All I can do is worry. I worry constantly and I see no end in sight. I think about my baby 24/7. When I’m not with him, I am thinking about him or looking for ways to bring him up in conversation. I look at his pictures. I get excited about the end of the work day. I live for that moment when his eyes first focus on me when I pick him up from the sitter. It’s like my reward for a hard day’s work. It’s better than any promotion or paycheck.
We spend the rest of our hours together at night playing, getting a bath, and snuggling.
I don’t even listen to music in the car anymore. I would much rather listen to the entrancing sounds of his baby gibberish. I sleep with my hands wrapped around the baby monitor. I live for the weekends full of solid uninterrupted time with him, then when Monday morning rolls around, I take him to the sitter and watch him out the window wave to me as I drive away. I want to freeze time. “Stop growing,” I want to say. Then, I think better of it. I can’t be selfish. He loves his time at his “Yaya’s” with all his little friends and his cousin. He learns something new and amazing everyday. Today, I picked him up and Yaya told me to watch. She counted in Spanish….”UNO….DOS….” and right on que, my child squeals something from my arms that sounds vaguely like “TRES.” Of course, I am instantly amazed and proud.
As far as I know, I am nowhere near the “sweet spot.” But, that’s okay. Everyday is an adventure for us.
I remember taking family vacations as kids. When we would travel through West Virginia, my sister and I would always try to hold our breath through the long tunnels in the mountains. I remember, it was always so quiet in there. The radio didn’t work, the lights were dim, and all I ever heard was the pounding in my chest. I feel like at this point in child raising, we are in the tunnel. I can see the blinding, white light at the end, but I am basking in the moment, just sitting here, holding my breath.

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