“‘I love you as high as I can reach,’ said Little Brown Nut Hare.
‘I love you as high as I can reach,’ said Big Brown Nut Hare. That is very high, thought Little Brown Nut Hare. I wish I had arms like that…”
This is how Toby reads stories to our son. I was coming up the stairs and burst out laughing to hear of the love between the brown nut hairs. The story is actually about nutbrown hares, but as Toby protested, it’s a bit of a tongue twister to read aloud. I wonder if the author really considered how the story sounds while he was writing it.
Note to children’s book authors: read your stories out loud before submitting them for publication.
A year ago, I was just beginning to suspect I was pregnant. My parents, who had been steadily increasing the requests for grandchildren, were living with us at the time, and just about to head back to the States. I didn’t want to tell them I was pregnant just before they had to leave because I didn’t want them to feel bad about not being here. So I snuck out of my own house on some pretext about needing a couple of groceries and went to the drug store to get some tests. I bought four. I couldn’t wait to get home to find out the results though, so I took the tests right there in the grocery store bathroom.
Positive. I took the test three times because, after two years of trying to conceive, I both couldn’t believe it and wanted to be sure. Positive three times. I remember how flushed I felt, and how my head buzzed as I headed back to my car and tried to think about how to tell Toby the news, tried to imagine how our lives were about to change.
And now our little man turns four months old tomorrow.
I had in mind to tell you about how his sleeping patterns are changing, but now as I sit down to write this, I know what I’d really rather say. I’d rather talk to you about how most days, even though I believe in the decisions I make as a mother, I simultaneously wonder if I’m doing it right, even as I don’t believe there’s just one right way. I reach out to my other mother-friends to compare notes, to learn, to share in the triumphs and trials. Seeing their babies thrive makes me happier than I imagined too.
It’s beyond challenging, but it’s the kind of challenge worth every iota of your strength, compassion, patience, imagination, humility, and determination. When his laugh bubbles up because you’ve nuzzled his neck, it’s the best sound you’ve ever heard. When he wakes up and smiles to see your face there beside him, it’s the kind of moment that seems to give life meaning. When you’re trying to stuff down a quick bite of dinner, and you hear your husband singing softly to him and he coos back, it feels like winning.
Those happy noises tell me all I need to hear: We may not have it perfect. We may not have it “right.” But he seems to think we’re doing pretty okay, and that’s just right by me.
Thing I Love About Cy Today: He has an owl toy–a gift from Toby’s aunt–and the owl has wings that velcro together and then a tiny baby owl in the front pouch. Toby calls it the “marsupi-owl.” Cy has learned how to pull the wings open when you ask him to, and also how to pull the baby out. I love to watch his little hands reach out for the baby and tug it free. His eyes light up whenever you bring him his owl toy, like it was a long-lost friend.