Selective memory and why I don’t write more.

Nathan woke up ridiculously early this morning. The first time he called for me, it was to turn on some lights because it was too dark. I informed him that it was only 5 and the sun wasn’t all the way up, and it wasn’t even that dark. Then I realized I was really only muttering to myself, turned on the lights and said good night. The next time he called me it was 5:45 and his arm was swelling from a bug bite. Guess I couldn’t ignore that.

I invited him to come in my room and watch a show while I attempted to sleep. As he was watching TV, I put my arms around him and he put his head on me. He leaned on my face. I was partially suffocating, but mostly remembering the days where we did this every day. Where he slept on top of me, cutting of my air supply or circulation. Sometimes I miss that. If I remember though, that it was every day and how I was so much more sleep deprived than I am now (which is still pretty bad), it’s not such a sweet memory. But I’ll focus on the good parts.

My neighbors across the street had twins a few months ago. I don’t see them often, only when they’re going to what I assume is church at 6am on Sunday and when another neighbor stops by to visit and they walk her out. The other two times I see them though are so very familiar. When I forget that I can’t have caffeine anymore in the afternoon, I’m often awake between 2 and 4 am. Sometimes I fall asleep on the couch and go up to bed after midnight. But it seems like more often than not, one of their lights are on at these odd hours and I see the shadow of someone pacing the floors. And I suspect it’s one adult holding one small child. The other time happens all throughout the day. I see one or both of the parents through their window or open door, baby in arms, swaying. I remember those days – endlessly rocking back and forth, trying to soothe a child who just won’t settle (I never hear those babies cry though – so either they are magnificent, mute or they just have good walls). It takes me back to fond memories of smelling that good baby smell, knowing that there is an unconditional love that lets a baby know that in your arms he is safe. He is comforted in a way that only his mama can comfort. And if I think too hard, I remember that I’m pretty sure for a time I was doing that a collective 20 hours each day. I prefer not to think too hard about those times.

Kids do grow up so fast and those early days are fleeting. Sometimes I’d like to go back, just for an hour or two.

As I sat down to write this post though, I remember how things are changing here. I was about two sentences in when I hear, “Mom, can you pause my show? I have to go to the bathroom!” And then he stands there, still watching the show. And I say, “Then go!” He runs off. This happens quite often. (Note to self: child watches too much TV.) He’s a bright boy, why can’t he pause his own show? Anyway, show paused, child safely in the bathroom, I sit down to construct sentence three. I hear, “Mom! I’m done” Each word was at least three syllables. That’s my cue to get in there, wiping apparatus in hand. Sentence three will have to wait. Any real writing will probably have to wait until he’s not home or he can at least pause a show and wipe his butt.

Once I take care of that distraction and turn the show back on, I sit back down. Surely I can squeeze out these thoughts in the next few minutes before we head out for the day. Then, I hear my next distraction: Blorshp. Dog licking lips. Sigh. I get up, “Dex, did you puke?” He doesn’t answer. As I round the corner, I see a “pile” of what looks like cauliflower soup on my kitchen floor. Dexter just looks at me, licks his lips again, burps and walks away. So glad I mopped yesterday.

Somehow I managed to write the post anyway. It was going to be a nice little story. I was going to try to proofread this one and maybe even jazz it up a bit. But no, I decided to throw in the extra details of puke and poop instead. It is amazing how motherhood (to humans and animals) can simultaneously make you want time to slow down, speed up and have a rewind function so you can visit the past.

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