Musical memories

Anyone who’s hung out with me in these last seven months knows that I’ve been less than enthusiastic about going through the whole ‘caring for a newborn’ stage again. Some people adore that stage in a child’s life. They don’t mind the sleepless nights, the constant feeding, burping and diaper changes, the crying (both yours and the baby’s) for seemingly no reason. They apparently forget about the frustration of always wanting to make your baby happy but often being mystified by how to make that happen. I am not one of those people. I love my son and cared for him with great tenderness and abundant patience (way more than I thought I had) during that time, but I’m not exactly psyched to do it again. With a toddler in tow.

When I see photos of Kostyn as a tiny baby, I am not exactly filled with nostalgia. I do not pine for him to be that small again. Don’t get me wrong -- I still “aww” and sigh and smile and say “I can’t believe he was ever that little!” But there’s no silent wish for him to be 7 pounds again.

I say all this to confess that I’ve always felt bad about it. Guilty. Cold. Like there’s obviously something wrong with me, some short-circuit in my heart that makes me not daydream about those days gone by, back when he fit perfectly in the crook of my arm.

So this weekend when we started shaping up the third bedroom — which had previously been used as an oversized closet — into a nursery for Evan, I was reminded over and over about that guilt. Chris painted a nice shade of green over the pink walls, rolled out a new area rug we bought and started arranging furniture. And honestly, I started to get excited. But as I sorted through mounds of tiny onesies and sleepers and outfits Kostyn had worn, trying to cobble together a sufficiently warm wardrobe for my newest little guy, I was not holding back tears of nostalgia with every itty bitty onesie I held up.

But then. I wandered upstairs to see what Chris was up to in the nursery and saw that he had put together the crib and had just replaced the batteries in Kostyn’s old musical mobile. He was holding it in his hands with this odd look on his face, and when I reminded him that we’d bought a new mobile to go in Evan’s room, he said, “We did? But ... listen ...” and he turned on the little mobile in his hand.

And I lost it.

There was something about hearing that nameless little tune that sent me back in time about 18 months. I was suddenly in Kostyn’s sunny yellow room, rocking him to sleep with those soft tinkling notes playing while the mobile projected little stars and fish swirling on the ceiling. I’d listened to that music every day, several times a day (and night), for months, yet hadn’t thought of it since we’d disassembled the crib and stored it all away when he turned 1.

But there it was, this simple reminder of such a special, God-given time in our lives, the most blessed and fulfilled and overwhelmed and awe-struck we’d ever been. I looked at Chris and, as the tears rolled down my cheeks, I said, “I have no idea why I’m crying. They’re not tears of joy, or tears of sadness.”

They were just tears of pure emotion. Love. And suddenly my heart ached, literally ached, to recapture even one of those moments. To have him in the crook of my arm again, to smell the baby powder and hear him sigh and caress his tiny feet until he falls asleep.

And that’s when it hit me, with overwhelming thankfulness, that I get to do it all again.


Lyn said...

More power to you, sister! I can't imagine the newborn stage with Leah in tow...I'm sure it will be just as magical as the first time around!

Kim said...

Samantha's not quite six months old, but I'm already thinking about how much I'm going to miss these last few months.

Between the fits of screaming and tears, there's those peaceful moments when she stares at me and just appears so wise. That intent look that makes me think she knows exactly what I'm feeling. Then I'll smile and she'll immediately smile back. It's an incredible silent connection that only lasts a few months, before she has all sorts of new things to see and touch and discover. I'm trying to treasure every second it lasts.

Those moments make all the sleepless nights and tears worthwhile.

Momto3LittleFlowers said...

You made me all emotional!! I gotta say that I really wasnt looking forward to have a newborn again when I was preggo with my second... My first was sooo difficult to please as a baby that I felt just like you... Then, it hits you as it just happened to you!!!!