Sunday, May 14, 2006

May 14th, 2006

Tobias, today was for me one of those handful in life you will realize is a gift in itself. Looking back over the last nearly-four months, plus the months before that when we were waiting for you, I see radical blessed jarring wonderful massive change. Today I took a breath or two and stopped to look around a little bit.

This is Mother's Day. I know, it's just a scam for the world's purveyors of cheezy schlock, but it's my first so it felt important. We piled a bunch of baby-goods, the dog, and our Evanescence CD in the car and drove to your grandparent's in Salem for a barbeque. My mom was firing a huge outdoor brick column kiln with her art gang, it was a pristine first hot day of summer and what more excuse do we need to head down there?

You started to fuss some out under the shade of their pines, sort of whining low with your eyes closed and your hands clasped together so I knew you were ready for your nap. Your dad- who is so cute with you, and who you love to follow around with your eyes- was sweet and sat outside the window where you slept so I could go for a run. At this age you are a very easy baby but in a way that's like saying you're friendly for a polar bear, considering the amount of time you require. In fact, you pretty much require all of it.

With this slice of time, I went for a run. The route is one I've run for years; before I met your dad, before I was pregnant, while I was pregnant and now that you're here. As I ran it today I thought of you and what it is like to be a mom. To be your mom.

You are by far and without bias the cutest child I have ever seen. When we are playing and I say Boo you startle with your whole body and then search my eyes while you decide whether to laugh or not. In that moment while you are looking as deep as you can into me and while I wait to be sure you are okay, that you are enjoying our play, I see sweetness so becoming my heart might literally break. I thought about that look as I ran, and I thought about so many of the things I look forward to watching you see for the first time. Laughter is almost always a good choice (except where your dad's jokes are concerned as that might encorage him) and you grace us by choosing it constantly.

There is something about the way you move your hands lately that makes me think you are going to be a very determined individual. Your father and I are stubborn as mules- bronze ones- so this is no surprise, but I secretly love seeing it in you. I know that everyone's infant is fascinated with hands/fingers and their ability to levitate things to the all-important Mouth at this age, but you are set apart. I can tell by the way you make an O out of your lips and stare down with such hopeful intent.

You and I have worked ourselves out a schedule. Before you appeared I thought I was an impulsive person, but now I know otherwise. My proclivity is to break a day into hunks like a warm yeasty bread. Practice, run, nap, web-surf, cook, anticipate your Papa's return. Now it's more like... birdseed, cracker crumbs: big piles of tiny activities repeated until suddenly it's 5:45 and time to go get J from work. Feed, change, play, clean, sleep, feed, clean, placate, entertain. And BAM! months go by.

For the first three months I felt this was really all I did, and I was a little lost in all of it. It wasn't an unhappy lost- more like the times (yeah- plural) I tried to run through the back trails of the Arboretum in Madison and ended up twisting about endlessly among the ponds and trees before sheepishly finding my way home, legs tight and rubbery. Now, though, I think I'm on my way along the shady lanes with you. We communicate, we play, you are still alive and in one piece. (Don't EVEN bring up the whole ear-in-the-strap-clip incident, J.)

I have never been so surprised to be deliriously happy, Tobias. I love being your Mom. Both the job it entails and the relationship we have. I'm looking forward to the revelation of each bit of your personality, so keep 'er coming little man.

Happy Mother's Day, Toby.

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