These are letters to Jack, my son, and my daughter, Audrey. You have given me the gift of motherhood. This is just a little gift back. I want to share my experiences with you of your childhood from my perspective of watching you grow - of being your Mom.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
You know how cats and dogs have tails that sometimes seem to have a mind of their own? Their tails curl and move around so independently, that young kittens and puppies will chase their own tails when playing, not realizing it’s part of their own bodies till they bite down too hard and look around surprised to see if they can see where that shot of pain came from.
Well, in that same way, sometimes I think that your little hands and fingers have a mind of their own. They are the first things to wake up in the morning and the last things to settle down at night.
Sometimes on the weekend when you are napping, I like to read next to you. I can tell you are waking up because your hands become aware of the returning consciousness and begin with a little pre-wakeup calisthenics. Open, close, open, close. Flex, contract, flex, contract. Next, your fingers begin to slowly crawl across the top of the covers as though reading Braille searching for the binky that they are aware fell out of your mouth when you first nodded off. When they are successful, they maneuver the binky into your mouth and go about the next duty of waking you up. They rub your eyes and poke you in the ear and stick in your belly button and your eyes finally come open at the turmoil they are creating and you wake up.
In the evening, they can be quite hard to settle down. They want to grab for everything and I have to be careful to try to keep them busy with something quiet so that the business of the day can catch up with you a little and make you realize that you are tired until you can’t fight it anymore and fall asleep. Usually I accomplish this by giving you three plugs. I know, I know – bad mommy!! But, it works! You put one in your mouth and hold the others in your two hands. Your busy little fingers bend and pull on the nipples, but they are so busy with the project of exploring the pacifiers that they seem to give you a moments peace so you can listen to a bedtime story and settle in. Sometimes, though, those fingers realize what I’m doing and they’ll drop the binky and suddenly I’ll feel a little finger in my nostril while I’m reading to you and you’ll crack up as I jerk my head back to keep my brain from being pierced. Or sometimes your fingers will busy themselves by trying to pull a mole off of your Daddy’s arm. I don’t usually realize it’s happening until I hear your father say to you: “Jack – stop trying to pull my mole off.”
What I enjoy the most, though, is right before you fall asleep. Your hands slow down and then they might find my face and you will put a finger on my mouth and I’ll kiss it or blow lightly on the palm of your hand so it tickles a little and you’ll smile with your eyes closed and keep your hand there for a couple of repeats of this performance and then we’ll both nod. Hopefully you beat me to it.
At least we both know who will wake us up in the morning!