Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Corner

I step into his warm room, and, as always, a smile nearly cracks my face in two when I see his smile, top teeth gapped and hands slapping the crib rail in excitement. I sing, and he nods his head...

Good morning, good morning!
You slept the whole night through,
Good morning, good morning,
To you!

I lean over so he can push the "off" button on the fan, and as I twist the dowel on the blinds he "helps", and together, we wave hello to the mountains. Good morning mountains! I call, and he giggles.

And I turn towards Our Chair, warm, inviting, but he twists and lunges for the floor and I set him down with a laugh, taking my seat and holding out my arms.

But he walks out the door, searching for his daddy.

My hands drop to my knees. No, I think. I'm not ready! But he's gone and I'm alone so I rise again and follow him into the day.

He eats his breakfast with abandon and claps and waves his hands to be let down again to play, and I oblige, holding him close for a moment, wondering if he will pull the neckline of my shirt and bob his head while saying, Dah dah dah! and then I'll know and we'll sit comfortably together once again and he will need me.

But he doesn't. Not that way. And the realization sets in.

And all day I feel jealous and I feel free, and I feel guilty and I'm relieved, but every time I look into his blue eyes I wonder. Are you sure?

Husband takes him to bed in the evening, and here I know, I just know, he will want me.

But he waves bye-bye and smacks his lips into the air for a kiss, gap-teeth showing through as he sucks in air, and we kiss, and he leans into his Daddy and they walk away.

And later when I sink into my own bed, heart finally catches up with brain, and I let myself think and grieve. And though it's hard and I can't seem to put it into words, especially words that a man would understand who is just happy to have received the gift of all the pieces of his wife once again, I try, and he does understand.

He's gone around a corner of babyhood that he just won't come back from! I whisper-sob. And I'm following him, but he's not looking back. And I miss him.

He says all the right words, pulling my hair back from wet cheeks and using his finger to wipe away a tear. I've seen the way he looks at you! he whispers. He loves you! You're a good mama, and he still needs you. It will be okay.

And I go to sleep with eyes wet, but in the morning, my pillow is dry.

...thoughts on Eliana's weaning...

19 fellow travelers shared:

Kristin said...

Wow! As a fellow mama, I can empathize. Are we ever really ready to let these babes go? No matter the age of weaning, even when we feel that blessed relief, it is still hard in a deep emotional way.

(Benjamin has cut back recently, but I don't think we are headed down the path of weaning for some time yet.)

Jenny said...

I competely empathize and relate. Especially for our husbands; they know the benefits (emotional & physical) for our babies, but they want to enjoy their wife...My baby is 20 months old and I am starting to see glimpses of "The Day" I dread. Thank God for girlfriends who understand the divided heart of a nursing mother.

Melissa said...

Oh friend, it's my eyes that are wet now. I relate to every thought and emotion you expressed. I so loved nursing my babies, from beginning to end. It's hard to think I most likely will never do it again.

My hubby understands as well. (In the midst of his rejoicing *wink*). What a gift.

Kelly Langner Sauer said...

oh Elise... You made me cry! This feels very close right now...

I mentioned you at my blog today. I just wanted you to know I appreciate you!

Linda said...

Oh Elise - how tenderly poignant; how you speak for our mother's hearts. There are so many stages of this "growing up and away" but always that cord of love remains. When I am enveloped in the hugs of my grown sons, it is so wonderful. Still, I sometimes long for that total dependence that we once knew.
You have such a beautiful heart dear one.

Stacy said...

You've expressed this so well, here, Elise. Oh, I *know* what you mean. My heart always aches... and it seems I always want to continue it just a bit longer than my little ones do, offering it only to find that no, they are truly done. :(

Loving you, sweet and grieving mama. (((Hugs)))

Erin said...

Weaning is so bittersweet! Your post brought tears to my eyes. Nursing is such a special relationship.

Andrea said...

oh sweetie, that is tough. We mamas *need* them to *need* us....but the Lord's plan is for us to let them go into His arms...again and again--that brings Him glory. You've got a lifetime with this boy. and he will always need you!

spergerswoman said...

Thanks for sharing. I just recently went through a very similar experience with Sam. This is my first son. It's different. He's my "mama's boy" and I like it. Thank God for understanding husbands that guide us in letting go (though maybe sometimes with selfish alterier motives!) Blessings, and maybe another baby!
In Him,

Kathi Bailey said...

Very Beautiful. My heart is hurting. Every step with children is bittersweet in some way.
How blessed are we who have comforting husbands.
- Kathi

Deidra said...

This makes me smile. My son is 21, but years ago I'd go to get him out of his crib and we would open the blinds and sing, "Good morning, world! Good morning trees! Good morning birds!"

Every season of parenting is simply beautiful. Truly. Each season is a treasure to experience and to anticipate.

Kevin & Judy said...

Oh, dear Elise ~ so hard every time, isn't it? You make me remember the moments with each of you eyes are wet, as well. I sure do love you, darling daughter!


Ericka said...

Oh,how I UNDERSTAND your wet cheeks and whispered sobs!!! My, how I understand. You expressed it so beautifully that it brought tears to MY eyes, even as I eagerly anticipate drawing another sweet one to me in just a few short months. Still, I remember that corner turned, four times now. I absolutely understand...

Elizabeth said...

Oh Elise, your words made me weep as I know I will be there with my youngest before I know it. What a beautiful gift you have given your sweet boy!

Christine said...

That's when it's time for another!!! :)

Allie said...

This brought tears to my eyes! I'm already anticipating the sadness I will feel when my own little guy ( incidentally, also named Gideon ;-) ) turns this corner.

I'm new to your blog and have been so encouraged by it- On those rough days, your thoughts here often remind me of the joy to be found in being Mommy :-)

Now I can't wait for my little Gideon to wake up from his nap so I can give him a big squeeze!

Quinne said...

Lovely, Elise.
Love you, Q

Beka said...

I don't know what I am going to do when that day comes at our house!

As it is, I'm sad because Hannah's sleeping through the night now, and I so miss that drowsy, snuggly, middle-of-the-night nursing, drifting back to sleep until daybreak with her nestled in my arms.

But your thoughts on this, as always, are a blessing, and I am sure I will be revisiting this post!

Lots of love and hugs, dear friend!

Laura said...

I cried when I read of Eliana's weaning just a few years ago and I'm crying again now. Because I do know. And I do understand. Our Caleb just slept his first night in his own crib. And perhaps soon, he'll be done with "Mama's milk." "I feel jealous and I feel free, and I feel guilty and I'm relieved" -perfectly said, Elise. Hugs to you!

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