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Monday, June 27, 2011

Enjoying his lasts...

An emotional stream-of-consciousness post…

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I was introduced to a book about understanding and enjoying the lasts your child does. So often we focus on the firsts. The first time trying solid foods, the first time crawling or the first words. Sometimes though, the lasts slip away without us realizing they’re leaving. I didn’t and won’t read the book because it would destroy me in a way that I may never recover from. I am, perhaps, the most sentimental person alive. I wouldn’t let anyone feel the baby kick in my stomach until Greg could. I won’t do any big experiences with Cole unless Greg is present. Heck, I still have the skittles wrapper from the first movie Greg and I saw 7 years ago. Sentimental. So a book like that would kill me. It points out that there is no skittles wrapper to the last time your child takes those wobbly steps and turns them into steady running. You have to stop and cherish each moment of the rapidly changing life or it will go by even faster than it already does.
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I am good at cherishing each moment. I am all too aware that its slipping by at lightening speed. Its the fact that I have nothing to do about it that scares me. I’m not a control freak but having no power over these moments and their speed kills me. He has changed so fast. I miss the times when he wasn’t mobile and was content to lay squished up next to me with a teething ring. I miss the face he used to make when he was going number two because that stopped about a month ago. Even now, that “uh-oh” he frequently used so much is dwindling. These habits and tricks of his that we love so much are passing and being replaced with more difficult words or more complex actions. And, while I understand that it’s the way of life, I will never again experience these. Not with my first born baby who I have been lucky enough to focus on completely. Next time there will be many more distractions. I will be focusing on the new one’s firsts and lasts while watching an older Cole experience a whole new set of challenges. I just know it won’t be the same and I can’t do anything to slow it down. I am entirely too emotionally dependent but it works for us. I’ve always lived each moment of my life with passion and zeal knowing full well that it was fleeting. I’ve never wavered in that mentality and it has only extended to cherishing moments with Cole in addition to those moments with Greg. I have no problem going out without Cole or even planning an overnighter we’ve got in the works for a few months from now. I do think I’m healthy but I hate seeing these things slip by probably more than the average person because I am so sentimental.
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I’m always aware of the firsts in life and now even more aware of the lasts. I have every movie stub from every movie Greg and I have ever gone to. I have every ticket from every sporting event or concert. I have every love note Greg has ever written me. I have every shred of paper used to plan our wedding. I have every tiny souvenir from Cole’s birth and subsequent hospital visit in a box in his room, which is still too painful to go through…but I have it. I have video taped every single new food Cole tried up until about 8 months old. I was always afraid I would miss a funny reaction to something new. And don’t even get me started on my pre-Greg life. Boxes of treasures downstairs that I will never be able to give up because I can’t bear not having a memento from those moments in my life. So, you can see how each passing day that leaves only a memory or a few photos as a memento is painful for someone like me. The memory will never be as vibrant or meaningful as the actual moment.
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Tonight, I am sad. But I’m also proud and triumphant. Cole is officially down to one nursing session per day. I choose to leave the morning one for last as milk tends to be the fullest in the morning hours for most women, including myself. The night nursing session had been almost pointless for a while now because he nursed for a few minutes before he fell asleep. He’s been down to two per day for a solid 3 weeks so I knew it was time to stop procrastinating. The nighttime one was the sweetest because it was just us and the quiet peace of night. I could stop everything else and focus solely on him. After that, all there was to do was sleep. No lists. No impending demands. No stress over what was to happen next. Just us. His steady breathing, his soft swallowing and the way his hands would always search out for my finger until he found it and held on so tightly to be sure I wasn’t going anywhere. I’m sad that its ending. I’m even more sad that he adjusted to the change seamlessly. I’m happy for him that there was no struggle but it was so bittersweet. He rolled around for a moment or two while I laid next to him because I couldn’t bear to give up my cuddles. Then, he went still while I rubbed his back. He was out. I guess I expected it to affect him as much as it is me. But babies are so resilient. I understand that it had to end. He is ready and I think I am ready. I am so sad to see it go. It was the time when we were the closest. The sweetest. The most focused on each other. The time when all we saw was each other and needed nothing else. No urge to go exploring or accomplish one more task for the day.
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I know I’m rambling but I’m struggling to put into words just how much this has meant to me. I’ve been at war with myself for a week or two. I’m split down the middle. I know we would both be happy to continue on for many more months. I’m blessed enough that my supply never failed me. I just know its an emotional attachment that I will never be ready to relinquish. There are many benefits to us ending it now that can’t be denied but I’m still being pulled in the other direction. Again, emotional crutch.


It saddens me so much to know that there are women out there who didn’t get the opportunity, for whatever reason, to breastfeed. It has meant the world to me. We’ve had our struggles with it but its been the most beautiful gift. Our bond is so much stronger from spending the amount of time doing nothing but staring into each other’s eyes for minutes on end. It is the most healthy and beautiful thing in the world. I don’t want to offend anyone or cause guilt because everyone has their own path. I am just here to talk about my journey and perhaps someone would be inspired to give it a chance based on my review. I do believe it’s the best thing for the baby and after this last year, I would go through any amount of struggles to have this with any future children.
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So, as we are winding down this most precious of times in the journey of Valerie and Cole, I’m hyper aware of the many lasts we’ve been experiencing. Its part of the beauty. Its what makes us cherish them so much more. They say that death gives life meaning. In the same way, the last gives the firsts and the in betweens meaning. Knowing that phases don’t last forever brings us closer and causes us to stop and enjoy that much more. I know I will struggle with myself in the future thinking that I should have stopped and enjoyed even more. And, while there may be some truth to it, I have done the best I can do. I dug my heels in and bathed in each day to the best of my ability. I have soaked in the moments and will have beautiful memories that hopefully will never fade.
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I want my tombstone to say that “she loved her family with her entire soul and being”.

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About Me

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I'm a new wife and an even newer mom. I have a secret dream to be super-mom. I love to craft, cook, dance and fill my life with as many adventures as possible. I'm slightly crunchy granola but enjoy a good steak. I'm right brained and type B (with some type A tendencies). I thrive best when I get to use my creative juices. I dabble in photography and party planning. I play piano and have a dream to learn the cello. I want to make the most of this one, short life I find myself living.

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This blog was originally intended to be a personal journal of my pregnancy journey and all that that entails--shared with only a few close family members. It was a way for me to keep them posted on all things baby and occasionally post a picture of my growing torso so they could see the progress. After several posts, I started to get hooked on other blogs and became motivated to attempt to do more with mine. We'll see how it goes....







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