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Location: Midwest, United States

I floss daily, brush after every meal, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sweetness and the Lunar Eclipse

I had been gearing up to write a post about a turd. But then something really sweet happened, and I have to spend a moment on that first. So tune in later for the turd (if you’re into that sort of thing).

I am fortunate to have my mom close by during these early years of my kids’ lives (and how it is that she and her husband are close by here in the Midwest when really they live on the West Coast is worthy of a post of its own). One of the many wonderful things about having O. and Roo’s grandparents close is the joy of swapping everyday observations and anecdotes about my kids with people who are as crazy about them as I am. This is a story I didn’t experience first hand, but heard from my mom.

Last night, my mom and stepdad were over for our weekly Wednesday night family dinner. She had spent the afternoon with O. and had been getting him pumped up about the lunar eclipse, which we were able to view from his bedroom window. When Mom and O. went up after dinner to check on the progress of the eclipse, she tried to convey what a relatively rare event a lunar eclipse is, telling him it wouldn’t happen again for another two years. “You’ll be seven the next time,” she said. Later, she and O. were updating my stepdad on the newly observed phase of the eclipse. “I’ll be seven next time it happens!” O. told my stepdad. Mom observed that Roo will be two. “She’ll be walking and talking by then, O. Just imagine that!” According to my mom, O. got a faraway look, and after a long pause he looked at her with a serious expression and said, “I will miss that little baby!”

This just about knocked me over. The fact that my little guy is thinking complexly enough to be able to look ahead and anticipate missing his little sister being a baby is such a striking testament to how far he’s come since he was a little baby himself. And it’s very poignant, the thought that he will miss her babyhood, when of course we will miss her babyhood, too, just as we miss his.

But not too much. I’m always surprised at how little time I spend feeling wistful for O’s earlier days. I can’t miss those baby days too much, because he’s always charging off into some new and amazing version of himself. The fact that I can talk to my kid is a continual delight, more and more as he gains greater complexity of thought and command of language. And the more complex he gets, the greater the chances that he’ll say (or yell) something that doesn’t delight me. But that stuff is the exception rather than the rule, and it doesn’t tend to be what sticks in my mind at the end of the day.

I’m assuming that it will be the same with Roo. I love her so very much as she is, cuddley and babbling, mewling and drooling in my arms. But I’m also looking forward to her words, to seeing her dance and jump and run. And I hope that O. enjoys the ever-changing versions of his little sister. I think he will. But it touches my heart that he likes this wee version of Roo so much that he can envision missing her baby self.


Blogger Feral Mom said...

Damn, I came looking for a turd and left with tears in my eyes. Again. Your family is so amazing and you write about them so beautifully. Thanks for another awesome post.

11:01 PM  
Blogger Bored said...

Ditto what feral mom said...jeeeez, woman! What a breath-catching moment that would be...I do so love your insights on the stages of growth and yeah...just beautiful.

8:12 AM  

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