Thursday, April 1, 2010

A bittersweet goodbye to the two-toothed grin

After a particularly fussy day -- one where Cayden's mood repeatedly swung from one extreme to the other, one minute laughing heartily and uncontrollably, the next whining a "nnnaaa nnnaaa nnnaaa" whimper-song -- and a day that included only 1.5 hours of napping, total, we realized a third toofer has appeared on the scene.

Interestingly enough, not one of the top middle teeth (at least I hope not, or this kid is going to need some SERIOUS dental work), but one of the next-to-the-top-two-middle-teeth. Just peeked through this afternoon.

Chicken's fussiness tested me pretty hard today. I knew he was uncomfortable and I coddled him with all I've got. But at the end of the day, as I struggled to zip his jammies up as he whined and whined and whined, I hit my limit. I nursed him before bed and cried to myself in frustration and exasperation. Too tired and drained to read him a poem or two, I just let the tears fall as we rocked.

And then I propped my little boy up on my shoulder as I do each night, to whisper his bedtime prayer into his ear, and he turned his tired little face towards me, resting his head on his blankie.

And suddenly, as I looked at his little face and drowned in the beauty of his cheeks, his eyelashes, his rosebud-lips, his baby lotion musk, my tears of exhaustion and self-pity turned into tears of love and hesitation and joy and longing and pride and overwhelming awareness. Awareness that these moments -- good and bad -- are fleeting. And understanding that even the moments that seem so incredibly hard, well, in the moment, can be appreciated so very shortly after they have passed by, forever, for their simple beauty in demonstrating growth and development.

My baby is growing up. And I'm excited and sad and relieved and terrified, all at the same time. And I'm trying to maintain perspective, appreciating and celebrating each moment for what it is for me, for Cayden, for our family.

How timely for Lauren to introduce me to a beautiful sentiment just a few days ago, one that will most definitely be incorporated into Cayden's first-year book prominently:

One day at a time -- this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering. ~ Joan of Arc

Thank you, my first-born love, for teaching me these simple lessons and reminding me of God's blessings every day. Here's to creating and recognizing beauty worth remembering every day. Even on the tough days.

And to close, here's my munchkin, so tired at bedtime tonight he didn't even last long enough for me to put his chickenleg down and zip up his sleepsack.

1 comment:

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