February is almost over, which seems impossible because didn’t February just start? For that matter, weren’t we just celebrating 2011 and now we’re almost three months in to 2012?
They warned me about this, you know. And I didn’t believe them. Growing up, I always heard The Olds, you know, anyone over the age of 25, talk about just how fast time flies by and as a kid, I wasn’t buying what they were selling. Dude. I was there. I knew that it was roughly three years between Christmases. I knew that you could fit four school years into each one and summer loomed on forever. But then somewhere in all that, I turned 25 and realized that time really does shift on this side of your 20′s and in between each blink of your eyes, months pass if you’re lucky, years if you’re not.
The Baby, as he’s known as on every site other than Facebook, is now 11 months, which, of course, is just around the corner from a year. A couple of nights ago I almost lost it in the birthday aisle at Walmart when it hit me, really hit me, that I was there to pick up some things for his first birthday party in, like, a week and a half. Holy mother of God, his party is in a week and a half. That shit is kinda terrifying to me. When did this happen? How did this happen? I only looked away for a second, I swear! He’s walking and starting to talk and drinking out of a cup. An honest to goodness cup! Is this the same baby that kept me up all night, who I seriously wondered at times if he wasn’t trying to drive me to the brink of madness? And now suddenly he’s sleeping by himself, for hours at a time and okay, I don’t really miss the late nights wondering when he was going to go to sleep, but dammit! Can a sister get a little warning before a kid just ups and grows up on her?
The Baby is our last. The Husband & I came to that mutual decision when The Baby was about 2 months and we’ve stuck by it since. (omg was that really almost 10 months ago?) Between an uncertain economy, The Boy’s Autism, and the almost 6 months of pure hell The Baby put us through with his colic, we just can’t bring ourselves to add anymore to our brood.
So I’m tryin to enjoy the shit out of all the little things with The Baby, knowing that he’ll be the last, but this child just doesn’t want to cooperate. He suffers from Little Brother syndrome, where he’s anxious to catch up to The Boy and I feel like I’ve had very little time to really soak in all that glorious baby time we so often take for granted the first time around. For 5 & 1/2 months, he did nothing but scream. If he was awake, he was screaming and there was nothing to be done to console him. Then it just…stopped. Suddenly I have this happy, smiling, lovey baby to snuggle and hold and rock, who’s not screaming in my face and making me want to rip my hair out at any given moment because why, why, why won’t he stop crying but no. He doesn’t want to be held or rocked. He wants to crawl! And pull himself up on the furniture to stand! And child, you are only 6 months, calm it the hell down. But, alas, he did not calm it the hell down. At 7 months, he started cruising the furniture and hell no, woman, you can’t snuggle me because at 9 months I’m going to start walking and unlike some moms who would take this opportunity to gush about how advanced their babies are, I genuinely hate it. I get no pleasure in these boys growing up. Not really. Because I know, now especially, there’s gonna come a time when I’m no longer “Mommy” and I’m “mom” and they won’t be wanting to crawl up in my lap or climb into bed with me in the middle of a storm and all this will be distant memories. Things I talk about to Betty while they’re out with their friends on a Friday night. That fills me with dread. Sure, I want my kids to grow up. Eventually. I want them to become successful, productive members of society and I want to know that it’s because of me that they are, but must they insist on doing so so freaking brazenly? Can’t they at least pretend to be staying little for awhile longer? I’ve been a good mom, dammit! I deserve that much!
Aside from minor freak outs over my children growing up, I’ve been reading a lot lately and I’m back to writing. Which is…okay. I’m not going to try to wax poetically about this. It feels good, alright? There’s something magical about writing. About building these worlds and these characters and them taking on a life of their own and you just sitting back for the ride knowing that you created this. You gave these characters their voice. Or maybe their voice had been in your head all along and you’re finally giving them an outlet. It’s funny, because I hadn’t wrote in so long that I’d almost given up on it all. Almost forgot how bloody good it feels when you’re elbow deep in the middle of it. Every once in awhile, I’d pull out one of my stories, pour over it, want to add something or continue and just.. couldn’t. It was forced. I’ve read some things by authors who insist that you must write, even when you don’t want to, in order for you to be any good. Or finish, for that matter. But I just couldn’t do that. I could not force myself to write when it wasn’t flowing. So I’d put it away, vowing to come back to it another time but kept running into the same issue. Then out of nowhere, one night, I had one of those “AHA!” moments and next thing I know, I’m up burning the midnight oil again, digging my hands back into this world that I had neglected for so long, shaping here, pruning there, and adding a whole mess of stuff over that way. It’s exciting, is what I’m saying here. It feels right.
Or, maybe it’s just my coping mechanism. BECAUSE MY CHILDREN INSIST ON GROWING UP ON ME.
Anyone’s guess, really.