Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The ABCs of Motherhood: H

Hurt. Happiness. Heart. 

I've been struggling with the letter H for about a week. I just was not sure what to say, or how to say it.

Alex and I have been going through a lot of hurt this month. His hurt is physical, mine emotional. Alex is climbing on everything: the buffet, the kitchen cabinets, patio doors, closet doors, trash cans, bookshelves, dressers, the crib, the dining room table, his stroller, the desk. With all this climbing comes a lot of falling. I'm of the philosophy that you should let a little kid explore as much as possible as long as they can do so reasonably safely. I don't catch him every time he falls, but I do snuggle him if he cries after bumping his head or scratching his hand. Alex gets hurt, but it doesn't ever last very long. He's resilient and on to something new, usually within a matter of seconds.

My hurt is not so quick to heal. I'm still hurting over the death of my dad. I've known for a long time that life is not fair, but this seems more unfair than usual. I'm also struggling with adjusting to California. It's beautiful here, but I'm finding it rather lonely. Ben works long hours. He's gone at 6 a.m. and usually doesn't get home until after 8 p.m. That's a lot of hours alone. On top of that, my job search has been pretty fruitless. I'm trying to get out and meet people, but it's rather difficult to make new friends. I feel like I had so many good friends in Madison. I'm sure there are good people here too, but it takes time to really get to know them.   

Despite the hurt, there is a lot of happiness in my day. Alex is almost always a constant source of joy. It's hard not to smile when he spends most of his day being so darned cute. He has no idea that I cannot sing, and he always smiles so big when I really belt it out. He giggles when I give him raspberries before a diaper change. He talks, and talks, and talks, and talks every morning when he wakes up. It's like he's been saving up all his dreams from the night before and cannot wait to start telling me about them in the morning.

I once read this quote:

Making the decision to have a child is momentous.
It is to decide forever to have your heart
go walking around outside your body.
 ~Elizabeth Stone

I do not know who Elizabeth Stone is, but I now I know how she feels.

Yesterday, I was working on a menu for the upcoming month. We are trying to cut down on our grocery bill, so I'm trying to plan our menus, use coupons, and make meals with less complicated ingredients. I'll post about the experience later. But, my attention was not completely on Alex. He was crawling around the living room and dining room. I could hear him babbling. I saw him climbing over his carseat, chewing on everything, and exploring his world. I was typing and trying to partially pay attention to him at the same time. I heard him go into the kitchen. I'm okay with him playing in there, because it's all baby-proofed. There's not much trouble he can get into. A couple minutes later, I realized he was being awfully quiet.

A quiet child strikes fear in a mother's heart. I quickly got up to check on him in the kitchen. Not there.


I quickly glanced around the dining room and living room. Not there. I checked behind every chair. I checked in the Moses basket. I called his name.  I checked the stairs. I start panicking, hyperventilating, heart racing. Under the desk. Under a blanket that is lying flat on the ground. I call his name again, knowing in my head that he won't respond in any way I can hear. He only turns his head when I say his name. He is not downstairs.

I run upstairs and do a check of his bedroom, our bedroom, and the bathroom. He's not upstairs.

I go back downstairs. I check behind the curtains.  I check the closets, even though the doors were closed. I check outside on the back patio. I check outside by the front door. There is something from the UPS man, but no baby boy. Now, I'm in tears. I am freaking out. Did the UPS man take him? Surely I would have heard if someone walked into my home and took my kid. But, now I'm starting to doubt myself. Yep, terrible parent. Plus, I'm sure my little guy is freaking out, or at least he will freak out when he wants his mama and she's not there.

I run back upstairs, dreading making a phone call to 911. I hear the tiniest noise. Hope! I go back into my bedroom, and there's my little guy. He's chewing on something. I scoop him up and hold him tight. I don't let go for at least ten minutes, and only then when he insists that I put him down. My heart...climbing up an entire set of stairs on his own. Thank goodness he did not fall. Thank goodness I found him. Thank goodness I have him. 

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