Monday, February 21, 2011

My Son

So yeah, I'll have pics one of these days. I lost the cord to my camera so I don't have easy uploading.

I just wanted to acknowledge some recent stories and experiences with my growing son. Mostly emotional ramblings from a pregnant woman.

Days when I don't try to work from home and am just HOME with Sam are very nice. We get along well. We have fun. We do things together. Usually I try to do too many things and it interferes with our daily rhythms. So: I am currently trying to wean myself from checking work email on my days off. This is hard. My job is defined as 20 hrs/week and often it requires more work than that. I have recently had to put a lot more extra hours in, so I'm trying to cut back and even take some time off to make up for it. That of course takes it's toll too and then I feel behind on stuff. Anyway, one way I try to stay on top of stuff is doing email stuff from home. Faculty do it all the time because they have to, so it is not that unusual for me to resolve things after Sam goes to bed at night. But what does this do? It ruins the barrier between my time and work time. It keeps me checking in on work stuff all day long "just in case". It keeps me distracted and it keeps me stressed out. The process of weaning myself from working at home is gonna actually take some time. I checked my email twice today. I thought about work a lot more. But I know that I will be happier and likely just as productive if I can make this separation. Wish me luck.

So yeah, Sam and I had a good day. Sometimes it makes me sad that he has to grow up. It is all so bittersweet, I guess. Today I stared into his eyes and just had to ask him "where did you come from?" because it is simply a miracle. Sam has truly shown me what unconditional love is. I love him with every part of me. He does not have to behave a certain way, or do anything particular, he just is, and I love him. Sam's cute response to the question was a tilt of his head and a shrug as he said "no me I know." I told him he came from my belly just like his baby brother and he thought that was funny. I tell him annoying mom stuff like how he was and will always be a part of me. Let's see how I can start messing my kid up from the very beginning, huh? But there is just this amazing and mysterious connection that I cannot begin to find words for. Maybe this is why people read poetry.

Tonight as I was saying good night he hugged me tight and said he would never let me go. not EVER! and I said I would never let him go either and told him a silly story about a boy named Sam and his mom and how they never let go of each other. He doesn't realize the meaning of these silly games to a hormonal pregnant mom who is watching her first born baby turn into an independent creative person.

Another bittersweet moment I meant to write about last time and completely forgot about and is now the impetus for this writing too:
Sam at the mall play area.
Meg, Sam, and I went to the mall the other day. We went after his nap so that meant we went late. Sam is pretty patient but he did get bored of clothing shopping. We had dinner at Panera, and that was good. Finally had to give in and let Sam PLAY which had been my bribe the whole time anyway.

The mall has a little play area for young kids. I try not to think about the germs which abound, because, really, what am I gonna do? Anyway, we finally get over there, take off his shoes (since shoes aren't allowed) and let him play. He lights up and is so excited. There are some older kids running around in circles playing some sort of tag-like game. Sam is too young for tag. He loves running and chasing, though. He is eager to join in the fun. He stands back, big smile, wide eyes, trying to figure out how to join in the fun. Finally, he braves it and goes for it.

There is an older girl (6?), boy of around 4 or 5?? and then a younger boy maybe 3 or so. The oldest kids are playing kinda rough, but Sam loves wrestling type games so it doesn't intimidate him too much. They get to the opposite side of the play area and I see the older boy stop Sam and tell him something. Sam looks perplexed and a little worried. The kids continue to run while Sam waits. Then Sam starts running again. A little later, the kid stops him again. This time the two boys put their arms around each other and say something too him. Again, they are across the room from me so I can't tell what's going on. Immediately my heart sinks. Is this it? Is Sam already being left out? I am thrown back to every socially awkward moment of my life where I felt like I never fit in. That I was never accepted. I want to run over there and ask what's going on. To defend him. But at least I know enough to stay put. Shortly thereafter, Sam is running after them again anyway. He is so focused on them that he doesn't see where he is going and runs right into a wall. He cries and I rush to his aid. His only words are "play more!!" and I say "of course, go ahead!" and he gets back to playing.

At one point I asked him if the kids had told him that he couldn't play with them. He said "no!!" and that they said he could indeed play with them.There are lots of other kids there, and by now he isn't trying to break into any groups. He is just playing. I think the bigger kid was being dragged home by his mom anyway. And finally, I too had to drag a tired Sam home, as it was time to get ready for bed and we were still at the mall. Later I asked him what the kids said to him. He said that they said hi and introduced themselves.

It was a pivotal moment for me. To see him as a social entity. A piece separate from me, yet still so connected. All of my personal emotions and social baggage coloring my perception of a harmless exchange. The realization that my son will develop his own ways of relating. That he may be outgoing where I would withdraw. That he will like some people and not others. That some people will like him, and some people won't. I just hope that I don't inadvertently push any social anxieties or eccentricities upon him.

He may only be 2 1/2, but my little boy is growing up.


Anonymous said...

I wish these days never ended.
You are a good mom.

-Sam's dad

Anonymous said...

Liz, you express so well my feelings as a mother, not that they are the 'feelings that all mothers have' but those mixed emotions of being a mother. Wanting to hold on, experience every moment, the joy and sorrow of holding part of you that is separate from you. Some days I want that time back but now it exists only in my heart.
-Sam's grandma

Ingrid said...

such a beautiful moment that you expressed. I am already feeling the brevity of time with Finn and he is only 10 months..... can't they just stay this small forever? I really wish we could be there to celebrate these moments with you...
Much love,