Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Random ... on sleepers and such

My daughter is definitely out of babyhood and toddlerhood. I am just now starting to feel pangs of missing her in those stages. I worry that I am ... I dunno how to put it ... too close to her, too needy/needful of her. She is getting harder to pick up now that she is getting older/bigger and cuddling her is just not the same now that she is bigger. It's harder to play those games where I lay on the floor and lift her, using my legs to support hers so she can be an airplane.

I know how we got here ... she started talking and each day I was just amazed by her ability to communicate. I was living in the moment and enjoying it - and now I have a little person instead of a toddler. She is still so wonderful and amazing but I am going through what I hope is a phase where I expect her to be 14 tomorrow and tell me not to touch her, please don't drop me off so close to school, etc. Ugh.

Having her be so much more of a person is really neat on so many levels. But is has made me realize that all those years of having newborn clothes and toys tucked away in a "hope chest" (read here: cardboard box) made those clothes and toys take on a life of their own. Because they were mostly boy clothes and because the teddy bear and blankets were tinged with so much regret, I never used them and have given almost all of them away. But still, when I see a newborn sleeper I immediately am brought back to those days of wishing ... wishing things turned out differently, wishing life could be the fairy tale everyone ELSE seemed to be having.

I still have some of those thoughts when I see people with that 'perfect' nuclear family, the folks who haven't had their innocence stripped away by adoption or some other tragedy. But I know I am looking through my own lens (lense?) and it's an unfair one. We all have our problems, but it's so easy to look at others and think their lives are perfect. But signing onto F.acebo.ok tonight and seeing a 'mutual friend' who I remembered as a candidate for Geek of the Year have a wife and 2 nice looking kids made me immediately think: if he could do it, why couldn't I? Sure, I have a beautiful daughter, but I am 10 years older than I should have been and road weary from carrying all this damn baggage.

Raising my daughter and moving beyond those baby and toddler days have allowed me to grow a lot in many ways, to work through some of the issues, (but not the grief). It's nice to be able to do my daughter's laundry and not have strange emotions that I still won't address straining against locks in my heart, because I have only memories of my little sister's clothes to associate with size 4T stuff.

While I am missing her baby and toddler days and still have lots of issues, I like this new sense of empowerment I've felt in the last few days. I don't feel like I am in do-over mode for the time being. Maybe it will last a while?


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