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I Need A Baby

But not just any old baby. I want another hour or two with my baby Jack. I’d like a chance to go back to those precious times when I held him on my shoulder and let him breathe deep, sleepy breaths onto my neck. I’d like to sit him on my knees and watch him have an argument with his hands, giggling at the shock and anger that flits across his chubby little face when an errant fist makes contact with his nose. I want to see that first gummy smile and hear little palms drumming on a high chair tray. I’m only asking for an hour or two. That’s not so selfish is it?

It’s not hard to figure out why I’m feeling so maudlin. This morning Jack had some minor surgery — nothing serious — just adenoid removal and ear tube placement to allow his eustachian tubes to clear and help get his hearing back to normal. He sat on the gurney, swathed from head to toe in warm blankets, coloring a picture of a dinosaur, and laughing at the effects of the happy juice they give prior to surgery. His dad grew an extra head, and I wound up with a double nose and teeth like a rabbit. We laughed along with him and did everything we could to keep him at ease up until the very moment they wheeled him through the doors where we couldn’t follow. Then I realized I probably needed medication as much as he did.

The wait wasn’t long, and everything went well. Soon he was back with us sleeping off a draught of pain medication. As I watched him resting there, so small beneath his mountain of warming blankets, I felt a rush of love so strong it hurt. Tears pricked my eyes as I offered silent thanks that none of the rare complications of surgery had found their way to our door.

And for the next half hour, I studied his face…memorizing details in this quiet moment, since so much of our life seems such a blur of activity. I was inordinately pleased to find the patches of light blond hair just above his temples were still evident. Why that mattered, I couldn’t say. Perhaps I just needed to find something that hadn’t changed drastically in these last five years.

I heaved a shaky sigh and confessed my weak and wobbly state to my husband, who promptly admitted feeling the same way. Together we reminisced about the miracle baby we remembered and the precious little boy that baby had become. And then, our sleeping beauty awakened, anxious to go home and particularly adamant that Fudgecicles be purchased as soon as possible.

He’s resting again, his dad and I taking turns snuggling him close and making sure he’s comfortable. As I study his profile and try to count the faint freckles that dust his nose, I wonder at the visual difficulties you develop with motherhood. Like a double exposure, the baby is overlaid with the boy. I think I understand why it’s natural for children to pull away from their parents as they mature. How difficult it must be to relate as an adult to someone who still sees you in a diaper, grinning toothlessly at your beloved stuffed hippo.

But for today, Popo and I still reign supreme. And for at least a little while longer, I still have my baby.

Posted in Family & Relationships, Parenting.

5 Responses

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  1. Paige says

    Very touching, Jodi 🙂 I’m trying to soak up all of the same baby moments with Caroline…I know they are fleeting!

  2. angie says

    Dillon had an outpatient eye surgery this summer and I had a similar feeling. He’ll be 5 in February but sometimes he looks 7. He’s breaking my heart. But he’s still my baby.

  3. Tonya says

    That was beautiful Jodi. I am a little wistful as my babies turn 5 and 3 next week.

  4. Jill says

    What a beautiful post,. My eldest son has gone off to University this year and my youngest is now 16 going on 21!! I find myself reminiscing with myself about when they were babies and little boys and I miss those times. I guess now I’ll have to wait for the Grandchildren to come along…..yikes!

  5. Amy, your sister says

    Shut up!! You made me cry. I hate to admit that within a few short weeks my precious babies will be 20 and 22. My heart say it was only yesterday that they sat on the back steps, in shorts and giant straw hats, as filthy as two street urchins smiling for the camera after a successful fort building project. (Fort was a huge hole dug in the middle of my front yard!) When Larry finished having a stroke, we decided that it was not really a hole in the yard, it was the beginning of a small decorative pond which would be completed sometime in the next 25 or 30 years! They loved that fort and used it for many missions through the years. Life is short. Soak up every memory and take the time to make pictures. Love you! Amy

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