Baby Toes & Button Noses

I found myself wishing for “the old days” recently, while unwrapping the plates and decorations for my son’s 10th birthday party.  It was a small, simple party with very little effort on my part.  I bought a few things at the dollar store to make it look festive and ordered a cookie cake.  There was a bit of effort while picking up said cookie cake, however, since the 4 year old screamed out the door that she just wanted “ONE COOKIE, MAMA!!” at the top of her lungs as we exited.

So yes, the “old days”…

The days when my babies were ACTUALLY babies.  I was kinda missin’ on those.

I thought about how fast the baby days of K’s went by.  I closed my eyes and tried to remember her still tiny and laying in my arms.  The first thing that came to mind were her toes and little feet.  I thought about how it isn’t fair that those tiny toes last such a short time.  Back then I dreamed of them getting bigger so that I could paint them and even someday we could go get pedicures together.  But now, I kinda wish I could touch and hold them when they were little bitty again.  Do you know that feeling, as a mother?  Do you ever wish you could go back?

I also wish I could go back for another reason.  Because I think I wasted some of that time.  I am ashamed to say it but it’s true.

(I guess I feel like pouring my heart out on here lately about my motherhood-ing, since well, with LTYM and all…)

Anyway, yeah… I putzed a lot of that time away on the internet and not enough time just sitting STILL, just being with my baby.  Of course we had plenty of time together but I feel like it wasn’t enough quality time.  I could blame it on the fact that we had just moved to Louisiana a few months before and my then friends were either hundreds of miles away (I also spent some time on the phone!) or in my computer.  I could blame it on the fact that three little kids is tough for a while, especially with an infant and that the distractions were a good thing from other things that could have been going on in my head.  I mean sure, we can rationalize the hell out of anything, right?

But even if I do that, I still cannot look back on her baby days without a bit of regret.  I just can’t.   I took a lot of photos of her, I know that.  But the snapshots in my head are not as clear as I wish they could be.  Much of that time is a blur. I try to convince myself that more precious minutes were spent with her than I think.  I recall reminding myself back then that the baby days were short and fleeting – I knew it already!  And that even in the chaos I would sort of miss it someday – or at least think fondly back on those days, wishing for parts of them back (let’s face it, not every single bit of them was wonderful).

I think that will always be the way with motherhood though.  When we have what we’ve always wanted, sometimes we think we were crazy for ever wanting it.  And then, when it is passed we wonder how it went so fast.

 

The next morning after the birthday party I woke up with a little person in my bed.  G still climbs into bed with us most nights but I usually don’t know it until I wake up.   His little face was right next to mine, his eyes still closed, still breathing the slow, easy breaths of sleep.  I looked at him for a long time.  I soaked it up as best I could and pictured his baby face, with that same button nose that he has had since birth and remembered his fuzzy hair.  I smiled at his so-cute dimples that he was born with too.

I realized in that moment that I had not been giving myself enough credit.  I DO remember what they looked like and smelled like and felt like and smiled like and my wistfulness was probably just getting the better of me. The mothering part of my heart that would love to have some of those baby days back just to be able to take them in again, was crying out.  Those scents and visions like a drug that I can no longer have; but what a wonderful addiction it was.

Instead now, I drink from the cup of memories as I go through those photos I took.   And I celebrate joyfully as yet another birthday rolls around and I thank God for every day I have to be with these beautiful human beings their dad and I created.

Of course I know I cannot stop time but sometimes I wish I could go back… just for a bit.

 

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p.s. Don’t forget to enter to win this really great book I read and reviewed – it will help ALL of us mother in some way! 

Comments

  1. My memories are fuzzy, too, sometimes. I think, as you said, that’s just the nature of motherhood. Last week, I baby-sat my almost three-month old niece and it all cam back a lot more clearly – even for just a little bit. :-)
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  2. My memories are fuzzy and Des is only one – it wasn’t that long ago. They were fuzzier with Scarlet.
    The heart really does remember, though.
    And taking nice photos helps a LOT!
    Tamara recently posted…For The Love Of Cookies: A Semi-Obsessive Love Story.My Profile

  3. I know what you mean. I had postpartum depression during those first few months. I took plenty of pictures, but I wish I took even more, and videos too. I’ll never get that time back & it makes me sad. My husband doesn’t get it either!

  4. The early days with my 4 year old is getting fuzzier and fuzzier. I still sort of remember the baby days with #2 (and he’ll be 2 in a few weeks!), and I think it’s because of the blogging I did back then. Which is what keeps me blogging – the need to write it and photograph allthethings before things get hazy.
    Alison recently posted…Three YearsMy Profile

  5. I wish I could pause some moments and rewind them and live them all over again and then there are others I would quickly fast forward through, it’s just the way of things.
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  6. I’m so glad you realized that you weren’t giving yourself enough credit – I am sure we all do what we can during those baby days, and you are an amazing mom! You have the pictures to jog the memories with, but even more importantly the kids that still want to crawl into bed and snuggle with you :) xox
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  7. I was extremely ill with postpartum depression that first year and change that all I have are small teenie snippets and a shit ton of pictures (because I consciously knew that I wouldn’t remember it.)
    There is a youtube video that I just watched. If I can find it, I’ll link it here. It was a LTYM video and a mom wrote this just as eloquently as you did here. xoxo
    Kimberly recently posted…My Story Is Not OverMy Profile

  8. I read this with so many emotions, Elaine. I felt guilty at first that I want to rush through some of this time when I’m tired and overwhelmed, I felt sad at all the things I might be forgetting. I felt love for my babies. And then you got to the part where you cut yourself some slack, and I took a deep breath, because this is all okay. We’re never going to master time, but we’re doing our best and loving our kids and holding onto memories the best way we know how.

  9. oh how I wish I could go back in time for a bit!
    Leighann recently posted…16 Year Old SelfMy Profile

  10. I related to so much of this. For one I have a big case of the baby fever that’s almost turning a year old itself. It’s not even that I want to go back to my children being tiny babies, its that I want a tiny baby with little toes and fingers. Second, I often feel like some of the early memories are fuzzy and I do regret being distracted. I regret that as recently as yesterday.

    I just hope what my kids remember is all the times I WAS present and not the other times. Kind of how I’m remembering baby toes and not sleepless nights, and fuzzy heads and not explosive poops. We like to gloss over those things in our minds!
    Marta recently posted…Sunkissed.My Profile

  11. I look at my son and miss the baby days so intensely, but most of the time I just want to FREEZE TIME right there and then, because I’m trying to memorize him at that very moment. There is so much sweetness at every stage… until he is a tween, I guess…
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  12. Oh yes. There are so many days I wish I could go back. Just to hold their smallness one more time. To push them close into me. All of that. It was so very hard, but I miss it so very much.
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  13. On the mornings when I have to wake my kindergartener up for school, she makes this face and does this stretch in the exact same way that she did as a newborn. Sometimes I feel a lump in my throat as I watch her, wishing to recapture the magic of those early moments. There is so much we can’t remember. But I guess, like you seemed to realize, it’s important to concentrate on all that we can.
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  14. There are definitely some times that I wished I hadn’t “putzed” away, but the ones I remember are so sweet, even when at the time I know I didn’t think they were. As we get older we have the luxury of being nicer to ourselves, in telling ourselves that we did our very best, that we couldn’t have loved our children more. I’m going to revel in that luxury.

    Beautiful post!
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  15. I wish I could go back sometimes too. Just to soak it up a little more. It does go so fast.
    Kim@Co-Pilot Mom recently posted…WonderMy Profile