Sunday, September 27, 2009

Magical Thinking and Long Distance Babies

I imagine every mother goes through this. There are many hours in my day when I magically believe if I stare at Atticus long enough, I can prevent him from growing any bigger. Of course I don't want a baby whose growth is stunted, but I have a tendency to feel nostalgia in advance and I want this time with him to last forever. At thirteen pounds, he is perfectly portable, perfectly lovely - just perfect in all things. He has come to a point where he sleeps well enough for me to feel like more of a human and he coos and his laugh develops more every day. It won't be long before his little hands won't want me to hold and caress his all the time as I do now. Then what will I do?

Over his crib, I watch his chest rise and fall and I know it's happening. No amount of magical thinking can change the fact that the inches are coming; his limbs lengthen, his torso, too, gets longer. He'll keep putting on weight and keep running through the clothes in his closet until I'll quite suddenly find myself looking at the toddler clothes at Target.

And in that time, he won't have had enough people fawning all over him. This is the greatest curse of living away from family and friends. I hate it so much. I hate it more than Atticus growing so quickly. He's such a beautiful baby, really, the sweetest person I have ever known. And the only people who fawn over him on a regular basis are me and Michael. There are no grandmothers and aunts fighting over whose turn it is to pick him up. There are no little cousins patting his soft little head. There are no little outfits lined up that a gaggle of neighborhood ladies is dying to see him in.

It's not fair. It's not fair to me and it's not fair to Atticus. He may not need to be fawned over, but he certainly deserves it. He's such a good baby, so flirtatious and good and sweet and social. He loves our mail lady and even the nurses who gave him his shots. He's so ready to love everyone and yet every day it's just mom and dad. And he loves us, of course, but I think he'd like a new audience. Sometimes I think I can hear him say, "Come on, people, I got all this charm to show off and you're not bringing in any new people I can try it out on."

We leave for Cleveland in a couple of weeks to see family. It's not soon enough.


Nik said...

It is a horrible existence. OK. That might be overstating it but I know exactly what you mean. When we left SLC for GR, I could barely live with myself for taking Z away from all the love. It still isn't much better, now that we're here in Flag. All the people could love her for, don't even know the things they could love her for.
But, the family does make up for it, to the degree they can, when they see her. And, you'll find people, like we did, who are as charmed by Atticus as you are. But I'm with you. It sucks.

B. Marzoni said...

Oh, Beth is coming. There will be fawning. There will be Natalie. There will be Cindy. There will be Zach's hair.