June 15, 2009

Twist in Miniature

Tonight, right before bed, we had a family of four "dance party" to Music Choice on cable.

First song was "Jungle Love," and James was not one-hundred percent convinced. He stomped around a little, but really just ended up throwing a fit or two.
The second song - the blessed Frank Sinatra with "New York, New York." With an unconvinced look on his face, I scooped that boy up, and we waltzed-foxtrotted-tangoed (as if I know how to really do any of that) across the living room, around the coffee table one hundred times, and up and down the hallway a hundred more.
Jason had Stella, and the father-daughter pair were performing a fantastic disco and cha-cha number (again, as if he knows either of those moves). Out of breath and laughing hysterically, "New York, New York" ended with Stella dozing on Jason's shoulder and James in a pile of laughter on the floor.

I thought, this is it. This is what "it" is all about. The "it" being family, motherhood, life, and the reason for it all.

I bathed Stella, and carried her up the sixteen stairs (yes, I have counted) to her room for the rocking dance and bottle. We two gals pass by Jason throwing (yes, literally, throwing) James into the tub, along with the Thomas the Train Tugboat, and laughter over screams of "Thomas! Thomas! Daddy! Monkey!"

Stella and I begin the nightly ritual, where I rock and feed her in the dimming quiet of her room, while listening to the whir of the fan and also enjoying a book. These are the sacred thirty quiet minutes we have together, and we are both exhausted. She eats with her eyes closed, winding down after her long and busy day as a growing little girl, and I listen to the "gulp gulp gulp" sound, rock rock rock her, turning page after page in the only pleasure reading that exists for a mom with new babies (except the "throne," but even throne reading is cut short these days by banging on the door or fingers shoving washcloths under the door).

During this time, Stella holds my pinky, pats my hand or I rub her foot, kiss that precious receding hairline. It seems as if I would be "out" of hands (with the reading, petting, feeding, etc), but I'm not. With the birth of Stella, I grew an extra set. Unlike the less-than-perky boobs, an extra set of hands is a beneficial side-effect of child number two.

As Stella finishes up her bottle, and I reach the halfway point in the less-than-literary My Sister's Keeper, my eyes pass over the words:

"Goldfish get big enough only for the bowl you put them in. Bonsai trees twist in miniature. I would have given anything to keep [my children] little. The [children] outgrow us so much faster than we outgrow them."

Amen to that. I will be chasing after James, begging for a dance to "New York, New York" in only a few short years. Stella will be too cool for my kisses, in probably four years. And such is the way it goes. But for now, I won't think about it - we'll dance, snuggle and kiss all over each other. They outgrow us so much faster than we outgrow them. And that's what will break my heart... and that's the way it should be.
Love to you all,


kelly said...

Isn't that night time feeding the best part? When babies are half asleep and the world seems to be at peace for one short second. I swear I hear God whispering in those moments....

stephanie said...

Such a beautiful post! I just finished My Sister's Keeper. Not such a fan of the depressing subject, but that line definitely stayed with me.
And if I ever have another baby, I MUST learn your trick for reading while rocking. Why didn't I think of that???