Sunday, January 20, 2008

Soaring Kicks

As surely as this baby grows inside of me, our girls are growing up outside of me. The walls echo with "Uh myself, uh myself" and "Not right now." Each kick that tickles at my belly throws a bright light on the fading milk moustaches that kiss their upper lips.

Briar's face lengthens by the minute, cheekbones emerging and revealing an architecture of beauty that already steals my breath, her strong legs lead up to hips and a waist that I can see traveling away from me, the arm of a suitor blocking her waist from my view. And Avery, oh how my Avery is sprinting. Sprinting to an autonomy of thought and movement that stuns me. She is without fear, which makes the moments she reaches for me all the more excruciating to bear.

The tangle of emotions, like bed sheets after a night of fitful sleeping, or perhaps lovemaking, seeming to come at once from passion and terror, tether me. One moment the ringlets that caress my face are all sweetness and comfort, the next they are cruel, taunting me with how quickly they'll be gone, in their place will sprout thicker, darker hair, the better to mask the baby within. I try to soothe myself with the knowledge that in some way my babies will always exist, beyond the eyeliner and independence, but it gets harder.

I can see now that as their bodies grow and as I celebrate their achievements, from walking to pedaling, each one takes them a step closer to lifting off. One day they will take flight, the speed of their ascent faster than my feet can carry me and surely faster than my heart can bear. It will be a triumph, both theirs and mine, but this morning as they sit at my feet, their foreheads touching and swirls of shapes that can only be drawn by a child's hand explode across the paper, I fear the velocity of our travel is more than I can endure.

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16 comments:

Maggie said...

Whenever you write a post like this I'm not quite right for days.

Thank you. (I think.) ;)

Amy said...

Now that I'm a mom I find myself echoing the words my father used to say to me all the time and I would roll my eyes, thinking he was so queer...."where did my baby go!?!" Even though Luke is only 6 months old, I'm already saying it. Oh how I wish I could have understood his feelings and not have been such a snoty kid!

Sam said...

I can relate to your post. Today I caught a glimpse of Sam in his "big boy" jeans and sneakers and it took my breath away. Where did my baby go? I cannot believe my eyes when I see such a grown up boy already... and he is only 18 months.

Raeanne J. Wright said...

I may not be a mother, but I am a daughter and I remember my Mom saying to me that each phase of watching us grow (me and little sis) was beautiful in its own way. Your babies will always exist and I'm betting that even when they do become little women you'll experience a whole new layer of motherhood that will bring new joys you can't even comprehend today.

The bean-mom said...

Oh, this made my heart ache. You expressed in words what I have tried, and failed, to say about watching my kids grow up.

Myshka said...

You will always have your babies. Maybe the pudgy faces will disappear, but you will always be Mommy to them. I still feel the same way and I'm 31, for god's sake.. haha. xxoo

trampoline design said...

Briar and Avery get their independent spirit from their mother.

Angela said...

It's so hard and bittersweet, we want them to be independent but we still mourn the loss of those special moments when they were really young.

Crystal said...

These Mama Sap posts are just the most beautiful things I have ever read. There is growth happening in you and around you and you are smart enough to watch and feel it and not let it pass you by.

Occidental Girl said...

Oh, velocity. There's a word.

It's amazing the speed at which these children grow. The part about the suitor's arm blocking her waist....so sad! And sweet.

I know what you mean about the baby lingering forever. It's hard to contemplate the person we first met as a newborn will change and ever be anything else! Of course it's what we want, but also, kind of not.

This is why photos are so important. Those, and memories, are all we'll have of this time.

I love the way you described this.

Smoochiefrog said...

I wanna write like you when I grow up! You have such an eloquent way with words.

Kimberly said...

Another beautiful post that tugs at my heart. So much truth here.

Lisa said...

You have a way with words. You describe my life in ways that I cannot.
Beautiful. Simply beautiful. And too true!

Ophelia Rising said...

It's the ultimate and most profound dilemma of being a parent. You want them to be strong, to grow and become independent. You encourage them to walk, to eat by themselves, to run, to climb, to reach. But then, you want them back again. To hold them, and never let go. To keep them from the world, which is bound to disappoint, sadden, anger. But that will also inspire, accept, and love.

It's the toughest "job" in all the world.

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