Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Swingin around

The general consensus seems to be that seemingly put-together moms are scrambling just like the rest of us. Eyeliner is apparently not an indicator of an abundance of time on one's hands or a woman's ability to juggle child-rearing and the thousand other things that need attention every day. These svelte women, it's possible, harbor dark secrets. Scummy toilets or Taco Bell for dinner or sad young ones left to their own devices in their play pens.

But maybe ... oh, maybe, some of them really do have it together. It's ok if they do. I wouldn't be wracked with insecurity when they cross my path if I didn't already wish I had it together, too. I'd stop comparing myself to them if I could. But I didn't begin my womanhood firmly anchored in a sea of self-esteem, and I don't expect to end it that way.

My kid, though. I may wish the child would sleep, but I never compare him to other babies. It wouldn't be fair to the other babies, what with my kid being rosy perfection. Whether you or anyone else agrees with me, my child is the best looking, the smartest, the funniest, the most loving child that ever learned to stumble along on this planet.

I spent most of my pregnancy feeling inhabited by an alien being. I didn't often feel tender love toward Graham as he grew in me, and I thought that because of this that when I met him for the first time I might feel that I was meeting a stranger or just feel ambivalent, and I know this is a common way for moms to feel. It's a hell of a lot, being pregnant and giving birth to a human. But to my shock, the second I saw him my alert boy looked me straight in the eye and ... the best way I can explain it is to say I was reuniting with someone I'd known and loved for eons. It's beyond anything. It's inexplicable, if cliche.

Today we went to a park and he enjoyed swinging for the first time. Previously he has not enjoyed it. He spent much of his time in the swing saying, "oh, wow," which is his only phrase for now. Other words he says, in his own way, include cat, hi, up, out, meow, woof, dada, and mama. The other day, when he peed all over his changing table while I was attempting to diaper him, I told him he was crazy and he said, "Cazy?" And I said Yes, now you're all wet. And he said, "Ett?" You see? Genius.

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