Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What's hard and what isn't

Dear Pea,
I am loathe to admit this. But it's true, and I can't only talk about the good things. You are sick a lot. Not terribly ill, not really sick, but colds and viruses have hard their way with you many many times. It seems to rotate between congestion and belly aches. Most recently, it was both: massive runny nose, stuffed up head, vomiting and diarrhea.  There was one day last week when I thought I was going to have to take you to the ER because you weren't keeping anything down, but it passed.  You refused all food except breast milk and took so much less than usual that I had to pump to relieve my discomfort for three days. You nursed yourself to sleep only to throw up. You got diaper rash from the diarrhea.  You bit your hand while we changed your diapers, needing something in your mouth to soothe the gum pain but too impatient to find a teething toy.  It was awful.I wondered how I could have brought you into this world to suffer so much, and you are not a "succumb to the suffering" kind of person.  Through all of the discomfort, vomiting and congestion, you still laughed and smiled and enjoyed The Muppets.

That was hard.

Every time you're sick, it breaks my heart.  Every time you're sick and you ignore the sickness and still are happy, it shatters my heart.  It is my mom's spirit in you-the refusal to be negative, the beauty in your world enough to overtake the ugly.  I miss my mom so much, every day, every moment.  It's like an enormous void that will always be there, growing larger and larger each day as the things that I can't share with her get more and more numerous.

That is hard.

Since your most recent illness, you have grown in leaps and bounds developmentally. You chatter and repeat words: "cashew" "butt paste" "Obama," in addition to your correct usage of "bye bye" "up!" "Dada" "Mama" and "yum." And "yum" is in response to finally finally eating solid foods.  You LOVE pizza (oy), carrots, cheese, broccoli (that's what gets the most "yum") spinach, olives, lentils, bread, coconut oil, apples, chicken, ground beef and chocolate. Not so into eggs or avocado, but I keep giving them to you when I eat them.

chicken sausage and spinach
This is easy

It's never a mystery when you want to be picked up (both arms in the air, imploring facial expression), when you want to eat (grab the food out of our hands or dive for a breast), when you are tired (head to the floor or couch), when you want to play (crawling at a high speed towards something to pull yourself up on, or to climb over, or to take out of its place) or when you like something (applause!).

pulled up on the window sill, about to pull everything off the sill
creating your own obstacle course over a TV tray
 pulling down all your toys and grocery bags and dancing on your knees
This is easy. This is fun! Communicating with you is truly amazing, you are completely your own person with your own desires and emotions. 

One of my mama friends was talking about her baby and how amazing it is that she "made" him. I know a lot of people feel that way, and it's quite literally true.  But I don't feel like I made you. I feel very detached. I feel like you were always your own person and you came through me. Like I had no control over anything to do with you. You are your own force, your own light. I just get to witness, to try to keep you safe and teach you what I know to be true in the universe. 

That is a privilege. It is awesome in the original meaning of the word. It is easy. It is hard. Much like love.

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