It has been nearly two months since my last blog – the dust has collected thick on this keyboard, but the time has slipped by me for a good reason: I have finally welcomed into the world Baby W. Baby W arrived a full day late, and quite unwillingly at that! None the less, he arrived healthy, strong, and beautiful. After a nearly 7 year gap, I felt like a first time mother again (just without the pure fright of a first timer). Still – when the good doctor placed the little baby on my chest for the first time, I looked down and my jaw dropped. I remember feeling the same way 7 years ago, and even more so 9 years ago (accompanied by that aforementioned fright): it’s a feeling of amazement of life.
The idea of creating a life is what mesmerizes me the most. Everything starts out really small. And I mean cellularly small: Baby M, Baby D, Baby G and even you and I, started out as a smear: a small, invisible to the naked eye cell. Then somehow with meiosis and mitosis and whatever-osis, that cell turns into a little tadpole that floats around in the mommy causing a morning and afternoon and night sickness that puts Taco Bell to shame. Then that tadpole morphs into an alien resembling creature until finally reaching the distinct figure of a baby. And that, my dear friend, is when the real magic begins: a baby is born. Such a small cell can now let out a wail and kick his arms and legs. Such a small cell now has big blue eyes and a full head of hair. What an amazing start to a life!
Skip ahead just one month and you see changes to that baby already. Now Baby W coos for my attention when I look away. He smiles when I blow raspberries on his belly. He struggles to keep his small head steady on his neck as he takes in all the sights of this new world he was born into. I can see from his expression that he recognizes me both by my scent as by sight. I see he recognizes his dad and his brothers. He has even grown used to the dog’s daily lick on the head. And all this stemmed from just a simple cell.
I have the benefit of having older children so I have a preview of what is to come for Baby W. Baby D, who is now just shy of turning 7 shows me the independence of a little boy who’s struggling to be a big boy. He can lug a heavy bag of trash to the dumpster, he can set the table, and he can carry his baby brother. He wants to prove he is old enough to have sleepovers and to ride his bike alone down the street. Sometimes I take for granted all that he is capable of – but when I see him holding his little brother, I realize how big he actually is. His once toddler-pudgy body has been replaced by a leaner body with little muscles ready for sports.
Just when I think I have caught my mind up with reality: that my baby is now a big boy, I am rudely awakened by the sight of Baby G, who at 9 years is also struggling. Baby G wishes to no longer be viewed as a big boy, but a little man. So here I have my first born son, the one who taught me so many motherly lessons (always, always, always have a diaper ready to go when changing a soiled diaper because once that fresh air touches his skin, it’s shower time…) and he most certainly is no longer a small cell, or a baby, or a toddler, or a little boy. He is wearing deodorant, styling his hair, and beyond picky about the clothes he wears. His sleepovers involve camping out, building forts, climbing trees. With his friends they scoff at girls, read magazines and books on aliens and try building robots out of kitchen utensils. I can send him into the store to buy milk and cat food – and trust that he will not only pick the right milk, but also give me back the right change. He is becoming a responsible little man.
So what’s next? When they become teenagers and I have to deal with little girls coming around the house, what will that be like? Will I still remember how it felt that moment when they were first placed on my chest? Or will I eventually forget that their father and I created them? They grow daily, but I think it’s vital to remember that at some point they were just a small little cell. So if need be, I will let the dust collect on the keyboard, because the cooing of a newborn is not only priceless, but it passes quickly and I do not want to miss a thing this little cell does!