Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Baby love, my baby love

Baby love, my baby love. Why must we separate, my love?

I watch my neighbor S. across the street with a mixture of nostalgia and a twinge of envy when she is with her son, who is perhaps a year and a half. The way she looks at him. The way he looks at her. I remember those looks so well. Utter fascination and love ... I miss that. You don't really get that from a teenager, as good-natured as she may be.

Oh the affection of your teenage child has its rewards. I remember J almost reduced me to tears when she had asked me how my day went recently. I said, "Not great." J said "Do you want to talk about it? It's okay if you don't." with the just the right amount of sympathy and concern on her pretty face. When did you get so mature young lady? I thought.

Once she referred respectively to two people that I regarded as my nemeses as a "wuss" and a "snake". When I looked at her in surprise she said, "What? I know what those words mean Mummy! And they are ..."

And when those hugs and kisses come from J (while they may be a tad more infrequent now) they are wonderful because they are so genuinely given.


A recent magazine article noted that the ethologist Konrad Lorenz proposed "that we instinctively want to nurture any creature that has a cute appearance. Lorenz suggested that infantile characteristics—big head, big eyes, the very round face—stimulate caretaking behavior."

Yes perhaps, but it's not just that ...

It is inconceivable to me that you can carry another being within you without sharing a special bond with her. My blood, my child, my love.

I miss my little chicken (so named because at birth she was a preemie and weighed the size of your average chicken - 3 lbs. 13 ounces) who soon grew to be a rosy, roly poly little thing with little sausage legs and arms. Her bright brown button eyes looking at me while she fed. Her feathery dark curls in my hand as I held her. Her sweet little face while she slept. The way she would run through the house calling my name when she came home until she found me and rushed into my arms.

The intensity of looking at her, loving her, is overwhelming, overshadowing every single emotion I have ever had. No passion, past or in the future, could match this feeling I think.
I never reached the stage that the hapless mother I met at a recent Christmas party has where she showed everyone at the table ten or fifteen shots consecutively of her newborn on her Iphone (okay I've never owned an Iphone but still ...) even when the conversation had moved on to other topics. However, I do understand the obsessiveness.
But like all things, we change ... J grows more mature, I age (gracefully or not). No longer the new mother, I am the mother of a teenager not a toddler. Now I understand why my mother-in-law was always telling me the same darn stories about my husband R as a child. She couldn't help herself. She could not contain her great love for her eldest child.

I have to restrain myself when reminiscing with J ... it must be so tedious for her as well meant as it is! Well, she will have many, many years to get used to it. I don't plan on stopping any time soon. So deal with that baby girl ...


WannabeVirginia W. said...

Oh wow, I constantly reminisce with my children and proudly share their childhood adventures. I know exactly that look you described, it is that moment of connection with you child that is so moving.

A Lit Chick ... said...

Oh I do constantly but I imagine it bores the pants off of her!!