But, a part of me still died. That set the undertone for the rest of the weekend. I kept going back to the thought that my children are slipping away much too quickly. Photos of Jacob just one year ago reveal a totally different person. He does not have an ounce of baby to his face. He is saying "like" every other word, much to our dismay and frustration. He is using big words and is in the pre-reading phase. He is so independent and is developing an engineer's mind. Today he tried to invent a contraption that would pull his box of blocks across the floor. Who is this kid?!
One Year Ago Today:
One minutes he'll stomp his feet and shout at me (in true teenage fashion). The next minute he will grab my hand as we walk down the sidewalk and say, "I'm holding the hand of a beautiful lady. I love you mama." While it is sweet and adorable, it also makes me want to melt into a puddle of sadness on the floor. Stop talking! Stop having your own thoughts. Stop using science. Stop learning to read. You're MY BABY. Where is the boy who used to keep me up at night? Who could fit into a Baby Bjorn? Who used to line up my high heels and try each one on in turn. Where is the boy who used to crawl all over the floor with a baloon tied to his wrist? Where is the boy who spent hours playing with wooden trains on the kitchen floor? Because I really miss that guy sometimes.
And then, there is Ryan. He is my broken heart walking on two feet. He learns new words every day and mimics everything he sees. Thanks to his brother, he gets to do big boy things much earlier than I would like. His new favorite words are "me" and "mine." When I ask the boys, "who wants a sandwich (or any other item of food), Ryan will throw both hands in the air and yell, "ME!" Today I asked him, "Do you want some cheese?" and he replied, "ME!" in the same fashion.
Today I took the boys to the grocery store and Ryan insisted on carrying his own shopping basket. He kept trying to hold mine so I asked him, "Do you want a basket?" He enthusiastically replied, "bako!" I handed him his own basket, he beamed and shouted, "bako!" as he pointed to it. He put the handles in his hands and followed behind me importantly as we walked aisle by aisle. He loves to walk in the grocery store. This way he gets to explore, and see all the items on the shelf. He loves to point to new things so that I will tell him what they are.
As I witnessed Ryan learning his new word ("bako") in real time today, I was very proud of my big boy. But also devastated. Where is my second born baby? The one who is protected from the world by his bodyguard of a brother but not protected from tormented by that same bodyguard. Where is my baby who took his time learning to walk and used to scoot on one knee? The baby that had holes in the right knee of every pair of pants as a result? Where is my baby who used to scrunch up his forehead in a grumpy scowl but would gift us frequently with broad smiles? Where is the baby who simply wanted to be in my arms at all moments of the day? Where is the baby who would take my fingers and make wobbly steps across the room? Where is my baby.
WHERE ARE MY BABIES?!
I don't even know what to do with all this mommy emotion I feel right now. I'm so overwhelmed with the transient nature of babyhood that I have no idea where to put my emotions. Do I just cry all the tears out? Do I tuck the sadness into the back of my mind? How am I expected to function on a daily basis? How is it that when my boss comes into my office tomorrow to ask me a question about trial preparation, I'm not supposed to say, "Wait! Hold it! My babies are growing up this very second and you expect me to discuss trial strategy?! MY BABIES. This very moment they are one SECOND closer to leaving me. How am I supposed to think about this case?! How am I supposed to think about ANY case?! How am I supposed to function?!"
For some reason, I feel like that would not be a good idea.
So what am I supposed to do?
The magnitude of life makes me feel really small and helpless sometimes. This is why I bawl like a baby every time I hear John Mayer's song "Stop This Train."
Stop this train
I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't but honestly won't someone stop this train