Monday, March 30, 2009

I'd never want that*

Finley continues to walk. She is almost running, luckily she circles back.
Briar and I went to her kindergarten screening today. She is a whiz, a charming, radiant whiz.
Avery is exploding. Language. Athletic prowess. Beauty. Staggering.

This morning, sitting at the office in a production meeting, I found myself looking around the table at the staff. A newly engaged 20-something, a 30-something mom to 2 under 2, a 40-something dad of two in elementary school, our partners, each a few years ahead of us in age and on the parenting ladder. It was all I could do not to cry. Blonde hair, red hair, olive skin, long lashes, tall, short, slight, athletic— all of us so very different, yet as I watched each set of lips move as people shared ideas, I felt a nearly immovable lump in my throat.

Babies every one. These adults I share an office with every day are someone's child. The first baby, or maybe the last. The only girl, the coveted boy. They had first days, first loves and first homes. Sitting before me, a reflection of what is to come. I cannot wrap my mind around how it can be that one day our girls will be gone, spinning on an axis that does not include me.

Listening and watching as I choked back a sob I couldn't have explained, I heard things that made me swoon. These sons and daughters are brilliant. Kind, intelligent, capable. Products of someone and yet wholly their own.

I am so proud and so very terrified, hoping that in this predestined game of chicken I can somehow make it to the end prepared for what is to be. My girls conquering.



* I began this post to share that Fin, despite edging ever closer to being a big girl, has returned to a sweet routine of nursing. If I didn't know better I'd think she was helping me, a gentle crutch to prop me up until I'm strong enough to hold myself as she flits away. I'd never want her to worry about me in that way, but it is so very tempting to slip into this, luxuriating in the glow of this time.

Confidential to Crystal: Was thinking of adding a Mama Sap of Terror type tag. xxoo

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16 comments:

Heather said...

I'm really so glad to know I'm not the only weepy mother who thinks about things like this.

Amber said...

I remember feeling something similar when I was pregnant for the first time. I looked at everyone, everywhere, and was amazed that they also had mothers who had done exactly what I was doing. And my own children one day would be off doing their own brilliant thing without me. So poignant.

flutter said...

daughters worry about their mothers like this, every day. I do.

Robin said...

God, I think about this all the time (although not as eloquently). Who will he become? What will his life be like? Somebody asked me if I am excited for his 1st birthday this summer and I started crying. The passing of time is so much more acute when your world is about the little one (or three!) in your life. And still, always the knowledge that they will eventually grow up. I (now) always thank the dog for never growing up or leaving me, she is my Peter Pan forever child.

Colleen said...

Oh my... now I'll be looking at everyone I see this way.

JackeeG4glamorous said...

What you have aptly described is life itself. Simple, but emotionally very complex.

JackeeG4glamorous said...

My kids are grown, but I used to feel so much like you do when they were little. (HELLO, I cried when the cord dried up and fell off) I still miss the days when my house was full of screwy teenaged problems and lots of activity. I worry about my 30 year olds when the weather is bad, road are icy and I know they have to travel home from thier jobs. I worry that they will be laid off from thier jobs, hurt by another "adult" man or woman, and when they can't conceive due to infertility. It is the pangs of motherhood and never really gets any easier. So, I look at my aging mother (who is a Pain in the royal butt sometimes) very differently now.

slouching mom said...

Did you read Binky's recent post (http://24hours7daysaweek.blogspot.com/2009/03/smoke-through-keyhole.html)? This reminds me of it.

What would the world be like if our hearts DIDN'T nearly burst at the sight of our children growing, running, striving, excelling, being?

Amy Y said...

You are so good at not missing a thing... I believe you'll have no regrets ~ which is what I hope for all of us.

Crystal D said...

Adults! These baby children of ours are going to grow into ADULTS?!?! Oh my stars, I am going to pass out.
Sigh.
Today Amelia was at her 4 yr old check up and I almost fell out of my chair listening to her answer the doctor's questions in her very most grown-up voice. How could I not have noticed that she speaks with such confidence? Maybe because I just don't want to admit she can. I'll stick to noticing her pronunciation of cupcake as coopcake and the littlest of lisps that pops out when she is sleepy.

Lisa said...

Lovely, as always. More than anything I hope and pray that they're genuinely happy when they grow up. How do they grow up so darn fast though? My Julia will go to Kindergarten in 4 months and 10 days - and yes, I'm dreading it although she is so, so ready. And as much as I'm looking forward to the birth of this little one, part of me is dreading it as well - the final time feeling a little one inside.
Anyway, sorry to write a novel I read every one of your posts in my reader, and love every one. For some reason though your site freezes my browser a lot so I don't comment as much as I'd like. You are a wonderful mother though, Amanda, and your girls are beyond blessed to have you!

Amy said...

Again with the weeping. Stop it. I saw you drifting and now I get why. Thank you for this, my dad would have been so proud, he would have been stopping in as John does just to gloat about the fact that I get to do what I do blocks from where he raised me. And for that I am blessed and grateful.

Sam and Harper said...

Yes. I think things like this all the time. You just put it into much more eloquent words than I could

Damselfly said...

Only a true mother, I think, could look at another grown person and see the child in him or her. And I think that's a blessing.

Kimberly said...

I agree so much with this beautiful post. I find myself thinking the same types of thoughts all the time. It is both amazing and terrifying to think of my "babies" 20 years from now. You captured my thoughts on this so beautifully.

DD said...

I've also found myself wondering those thoughts about strangers. Even about myself (especially when I forget how "little" my oldest is).

BTW, I tried to respond to your comment on my blog earlier, but I didn't get an accurate email from you. I hope you'll stop by again. I just wanted to say thank you.