Sunday, July 20, 2008

What's the Rush?

Hey, sleeping through the night? Started solids yet?  Is he rolling? Sitting up? Potty trained? Well, the last one might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I swear someone will ask me that question before my son's first year is over.   It is so easy for us to get sucked into the rat race of "citius, altius, fortius" style parenting with the focus on the next milestone, the next accomplishment, eyes always aimed on the upcoming challenges.  

Rocking my son to sleep is where I challenge this pressure each day. Sometimes my mind dwells on why I still have to rock him so much, and when will he go to sleep on his own, but I am trying to resist those thoughts.  I think about how rocking my son is such a wonderful privilege that will be over before I know it.  Instead of looking at the clock in frustration as my mental to-do list gets longer and longer, I absorb the feelings of the moment.  My arms ache as I hum along to the lullaby cd that has wormed its way into the deepest recesses of my mind.  I stand and sway back and forth, sometimes doing plies just for variety.  I exhale and listen to his slow, even breath.  I catch glances of us in the mirror I use to see when his eyes are closed.  Head resting on my shoulder. One arm thrown around my neck, the other hanging limply.  Little legs and toes resting at my waist.  I inhale the downy baby scent rising off his fine hair.  

All this will be gone so quickly, to be replaced by toddling steps, bikes with training wheels and perhaps a "My room!  Keep Out!" sign in messy crayon.  My little newborn has already become a 5 month, 20 pound dynamo.  I see frazzled new parents in the baby aisle of Target, with the teeniest little ones mewing like kittens, and I get a bittersweet twinge inside at the thought of how far I've already come as a mother.  Instead of racing through each day, attachment parenting is helping me savor the journey.   While my arms feel like they might fall off some days from all the rocking, I try to drink in each moment, knowing that snuggled in my arms is exactly where he should be.

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