Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mama wings

It is finally sinking in why mamas get baby fever. After Christopher, I didn't have baby fever. I knew that I wanted another baby, but it was more practical than feverish. I really wanted two little ones in the house at the same time. I wanted them to be siblings close in age.

But now, Colin is sitting up. He reaches for me after I unbuckle his carseat straps. He reaches to turn pages in a book. His gums are swollen from the teeth that are considering making an appearance soon.

He is not my little baby anymore, and I don't know where the time went.

When I was a mama for the first time, the days and weeks, hell - the hours - drug on like a Jim Jarmusch film. It took forever for me to get comfortable and confident with going out in public. It took forever for me to feel like I could gracefully nurse my new baby. It took forever for me to settle into life as a dyad, a coupled unit with my firstborn son.

When Christopher turned six months old, it felt like an entire lifetime to me. So much had changed, and I had endured the tempest of the trial by fire education of a first time mama. It was a relief to get to six months.

As a second time mama though, things have been entirely different. Colin's birth serves as a beautiful metaphor for how I feel with him. We were immediately attached. Connected. We never broke that dyad bond after he was born, so we never had to reform it. It was just there.

Realize here, that I'm not comparing my sons. I'm comparing my mothering. That's completely different than comparing my children.

After Colin was born, we were back home in a matter of hours. It was as if he had just magically appeared into our lives - as if he had always been there. Christopher was just at a morning playdate, and when it was time to come home and eat lunch, well shucks - his baby brother was miraculously there.

And it's been that way ever since, leaving the days and weeks - and hours - to simply fly past. It's not that I'm not noticing milestones, it's just that I can't believe they've already come and gone.

First time mama was so frustrated if the baby wasn't asleep at a certain time. Second time mama is just proud that the baby has finally started napping on his own every now and then. He'll sleep when he's ready.

First time mama was ready to feed the baby rice cereal exactly two weeks before his six month appointment. Second time mama is just amused at the way the baby pushes his banana around on the tray and licks it. He'll eat when he's ready.

First time mama was trying to figure out how to get to BlogHer with the baby and still feel connected to her old self. Second time mama is just happy to be at home with her family and still feel connected to her whole self. I'll venture out when both boys are ready.

It's strange. On the one hand, I feel so relaxed; like there is time for everything. On the other hand, I feel like time is slipping away; like my baby is growing up a million times faster than his big brother did. I can blink and get a glimpse of next year, and the next, and the ones not too far away when Mallory is leaving for college, Christopher is starting school, Colin is more than a toddler, and I'm turning 40.

Life is becoming a fly by for me in some ways, and I'm grateful - because it's my children who gave me my wings.