Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sunset Days

These are sunset days. Ending days.

They grow short in more ways than one; dawn breaks later, night approaches sooner, but time. It slips through my fingers.

I am trying to take hold of it. To memorize the moments before we are six.

And I have never been more mindful of the moments than tonight, when three hands covered my rounded belly as we sat and read a children's version of David Copperfield.

A sun-browned hand with long, graceful fingers gently pushes back on Little Man's foot as it pushes against my side. My firstborn's amber eyes laugh into mine before he rests his almost-but-not-quite-too-big-to-lay-on-Mama's-shoulder head against mine. The sight of his arms and bare knees, bruised and scraped from hard work and even harder play, make me close my eyes to see again that fragile, vernix-covered body laid on my chest so few years ago... but then I purposefully open my eyes again and look at him, memorize this moment, for right now. For later.

Youngest son, suddenly turned seven, finds Little Man immediately- he has become adept at identifying the presentation and limbs of his brother, and unconsciously rubs circles while he listens intently to the story. He is at that stage, the one where teeth come in large and awkward, making one wonder if his mouth will ever be able to house the teeth still yet to come. His figure eight cowlick, tempered down by damp hands in the morning, has popped up here in the evening as he, too, rests his head against my shoulder. I breathe deep of his little-boy smell, remembering how utterly humongous he seemed when I first brought his little sister home, and the agony I felt at the weight of him compared to her, wondering why it felt so strange to pull my baby boy into my lap with the feather-weight daughter resting on my other arm. Feeling guilty that I would rather dwell on her features and scent, and at my contentedness to let him slip a little further down that apron string, to grow up a bit. I kiss his forehead and vow to treasure cowlicks and sweat and muscles...

An elbow digs into my ribs, but it does't come from inside me! A hand with a slobbery thumb makes a suction-pop sound as it is pulled from my baby's mouth to wrap around my neck, leaving a trail of her sweet saliva on my skin. Suddenly turned little girl, she still cuddles like a baby, but will declare on a daily basis, "I do it myself!" She speaks in complete sentences, but is still dependent on her lovey for bedtime; wants to be carried at the end of long walks but can grip the edge of the dining room table and swing like a monkey to make Daddy laugh. She will be three when I blink again, when this baby-stupor wears off and routine and order are, Lord willing, restored after those first fog-filled weeks. Her fragrant blonde ringlets fill my senses, and I bury my nose in them, unable to read for a moment.

Baby hiccups inside me, reminding me of yet another ending to come... how I love to feel my little ones inside me! My hands subconsciously encircle my belly even after baby comes, as things shift and move back to their place... it is *him*!... I will think, and then blink rapidly as I realize that it is not little one who moves inside me anymore.

These are sunset days. And I am happy, and sad.

I am thankful He understands and makes a way.

19 fellow travelers shared:

Bekki said...

I LOVE the love you have for your family. It is encouraging.
Oh...and I learned a new word today. Vernix. Thanks, friend.

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

And all endings are but new beginnings, yes?

You are loved, Elise... thank you for the words and beauty you share with us in this place. You bless.

You were prayed for today....

Gwendolyn said...

I loved this! I try to remember every day how fast time goes by. It's not hard when I look at my sixteen-year-old and remember so well when she was a baby. Sigh.

Maxine said...

Bittersweet days, and precious ones. Each season and stage of life is precious.

JJJ @ fabricgarden.blogspot.com said...

Beautiful post. And just about how I am feeling, too. About a month to go for me and #4 also...

Trying to enjoy those movements they make now, remembering how empty you feel when they aren't in there anymore. ...and remembering how much easier it is to carry them this way with the other three tagging along!! :-)

Mindy said...

it's so good to hear from you!

Your post makes sense to me too! All of it.

Mindy said...

you are so sweet to ask about my summer. It was good. I not only survived it, but enjoyed it! And you will be excited to know that my husband is actually in the process of moving to a new position in our church. Pastor to families!! We are so excited. His focus will be ministering to and equipping parents!

Amy B said...

Oh the time is so close, isn't it? I'm praying for you my sweet friend!

much love.

Beverly said...

You managed to so perfectly describe what I'm feeling right now. I think you described it so much better then I ever could. This was beautiful, and you are in my prayers in these last weeks of your pregnancy. Love to you!

Carrie at dumptrucksandteacups said...

This is such a sweet post and my heart beats the same... each new step is so bitter sweet.

Praying for you as you get ready to welcome your new little one into the world.

Carrie

Jennspiration said...

Oh don't you love that feeling of movement inside? I do miss that!

As for Erica, she is due December 3. Oh and by the way...I made one of those "Wordle" things too...with baby theme. I am going to frame it and put it on the table at the baby shower.

Jennspiration said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennspiration said...

just read your comment about Mike's work. Of course you can borrow him for a week or two...but we have to come along and visit too! We miss you guys!

In fact, my sister and I are going to be in SLC in a couple of weeks for a scrapbooking convention. I wish we could stop by and say hello, but I'm afraid we won't have much time.

Audrey said...

Beautiful, Joyous, Tear filled, reluctant, as I try so hard to hold on to "this time/season" Yet it slips away, doesnt it?

My oldest son now wears the same size shoe as his mom, and will soon catch up to his dad. Where are those chunky little toes I once ran my fingers through?

Its so quick, so bittersweet!!! Praise The Lord He has blessed us with such beautiful memories and such precious little ones!

Kate said...

I just love little boys!! How precious they are!!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. I just want to pull up a chair and stay....Love the slide show.

Very well done!!

Come and visit with us at
http://heartofwisdom.com/blog/

Robin@heartofwisdom.com

Sandy said...

Another great post.
Always love coming here ...

Laura said...

I'm so glad you can appreciate these special moments w/your children. And I so know what you mean about after the baby's born and being a bit sad that he/she is not still w/in you moving around. I've had some signs that the time is very near and I am getting rather impatient waiting. But I should as your post says just soak up these last days with Ella and enjoy these last kicks from the little one. Thank you, Elise.

Andrea said...

((Elise))
love to you...
You preserve these moments so well--
Grab them and hold them and press on sister. You know what's at the end, right? Things we can't even imagine. BETTER than sweet smelling little girls' heads. Seems so odd something could be even GREATER than that, but there is.
Love to share the journey with you, friend.

Related Posts with Thumbnails