Thursday, April 7, 2011

Of A Certain Age

Youth and maturity are all relative. I've heard that "old" is whatever age you are plus ten years. I seem to think of myself in a state of perpetual 26-years-oldedness. I'm sometimes surprised when I look in the mirror and see how six years and two children have changed me. And I'm sure that feeling will only intensify as more years and more children come to pass.

A while ago my doorbell rang on a Saturday night and for some crazy reason I decided to open it. Usually I ignore people at the door, but this is becoming increasingly difficult as my four-year-old delights in visitors and screams in joy every time she hears the doorbell. I'm trying to teach her to hide when the doorbell rings, but she isn't in full agreement on the necessity for that.

When I answered the door it was two or three 15 year old (ish) boys from my husband's sunday school class. They were collecting donations for an Eagle project. (Side note: why are there no Eagle projects anymore that require any actual work or leadership or original ideas of how to serve and contribute?) We chatted for approximately 45 seconds during which one of them said "Your daughter is so pretty. Can I date her when she turns 16?" To which I emphatically said "Not a chance." He laughed and then they were on their way.

The next afternoon my husband told me that those boys thought I was hot. During his lesson the boys were laughing and sharing some sort of private joke. Brent asked what they were talking about, hoping to draw them back into the lesson, no doubt. One of them said "Well, let's just say that for her age, your wife is quite attractive."

While I appreciate the compliment, I'm a bit mystified at the qualifier. Who knew I was of a certain age? Maybe I'll have to rethink my life career as homemaker and redefine it as a cougar. Ah, the possibilities.

My Girl Turns 4

Four years ago at this very moment I was lying in a hospital bed with 30ish stitches and a gorgeous and perfectly healthy little baby girl.

And now she's a sassy preschooler with enough brains to manipulate her mama regularly.

Plus she's totally gorgeous. When she's not dirty, that is.

We're doing the whole cake and ice cream thing on Saturday when Daddy comes back from his business trip. But she knows that TODAY is her birthday, and she seems to think she should get to open presents and eat cake today and on Saturday.

So I pulled some orange rolls out of the freezer for breakfast and stuck some candles in one of them. I told her they were her special Birthday Rolls. She got very excited and danced about. I love how simple it is to make a child happy.

Well, sometimes it's simple.

One of Those Moments

I couldn't sleep last night. I was lying awake around 2:00 a.m. when my baby started crying. He's not a baby any more, but I still see him that way. I'd better procreate again soon or my son will be doomed to a mother who stunts his development.

He sounded sick.

Now, normally when James wakes up in the middle of the night calling me, I wake up grumpy. I find sleep to be an elusive companion, and I resent anything that interrupts our time together. I usually lay there for a minute or two, listening to my son cry, giving him a moment to see if he'll just go back to sleep.

This was not one of those times. I could tell he wasn't just having a momentary waking, but needed comfort. Then I surprised myself. Rather than feeling resentful at my loss of sleep, I realized that I actually wanted to go into the nursery and hold my boy. Perhaps it was because I was already awake, and thus sleep loss would be less of a burden. Perhaps it was because my husband is out of town and my bed was feeling awfully large and lonely. Regardless of why, I craved to feel the weight of James' limp body in my arms.

I went in and performed the tortuous nasal syringe ritual and then cuddled him close. He just melted into my arms and it was as though he really was a baby again, wanting nothing more than to be close to his mother. His hair smelled good. His fingers clasped mine. His head lay heavy in the crook of my elbow. His chest rose and fell against mine as his breathing became deep and regular.

I whispered to him "I love you, James."

A pause. Then a tiny "Too" muttered from behind his binky.


These are the moments that make it all worthwhile. These are the moments I must cherish now while they are still abundant.