Missing time. That’s what they call it when you can’t remember whole chunks of your life.
I am missing much of the Boss’ first year and a half. Thanks postpartum anxiety. But the things I do remember, especially those things from the first few weeks before we moved, I remember viscerally. It is as if they happened a few moments ago and the feelings linger the way you relive a good laugh at a dinner party.
The Boss was a good nurser, right from the start it was declared that he had a perfect latch and when the lactation specialist came to visit us on the second day of his momentous life Zach and I giggled at how she seemed almost pissed off that we really didn’t need her. The Boss was a natural and despite my training bra sized boobs so was I. I took this as a gift happily since pregnancy and birth were not easy journeys and so I relished the nursing. So natural. So precious. Plus? Perfect excuse to demand your baby back from whomever had absconded away with him for snuggles. And so it was that I sat in my living room, the LA sun streaming through the windows, rocking my baby and filled with anxiety nightmares that were unceasing but quieted while we nursed. His sweet smacking noises made my heart sing as he snuggled in on the left side. Isn’t that strange how babies prefer one side over the other? both my babies prefer to really relax on the left side. One tiny arm tucked under mine and the other, a tiny hand curled in a fist as he nursed away and I marveled at the tiny left foot that always found it’s way into my right hand. The toes so impossibly tiny. That beautiful pink skin, still slightly translucent and peeling. His toes pointed and flexed as he nursed and I folded my hand fully encompassing it. So delicate. So amazing.
Then both legs suddenly stick straight and you know what happened next…the filling of the drawers. The tiny foot relaxed in my gentle grasp and he shuddered a big sigh, falling into a deel happy sleep. Perfect rosebud lips glazed like a fresh Krispy Kreme. I sat there wondering what to do? Wake him and change what was surely a swampy diaper? Let him sleep? I rocked and pondered this all the while caressing that tiny foot.
And so it is now. When he is upset he crawls in my lap and somehow that little foot ends up in my hand. The Boss sleeps with me every night. I know I should be getting him into his own bed but I can’t bring myself to care. He would never sleep with me or near me as a baby and in the last six months he has begun snuggling up as close as he can. I store these snuggles like Frederick mouse stored colors for the winter knowing that sooner than I am ready for he will push off my snuggles and he no longer will toss a sleepy arm over me in the middle of the night. He won’t scootch so close to me he is practically on top of me. So I relish every moment, every single second of it. There will be years enough for him to sleep in his own room.
I wake sometimes in the middle of the night, holding that precious left foot – now significantly larger and no longer smelling like marshmallow but in my hand nonetheless. Do I seek it out? Does he? I don’t know.
I wonder if when he is grown up he will come home and plop a giant stinky left foot in his wife’s lap?
But for now that little foot is all mine.