It’s not like he’s LEAVING HOME or anything

With Henry’s first birthday next week, I feel like I’ve finally been hit with the super-charged post-partum hormone attack I never had after his birth.

In the weeks after Will was born, my husband would catch me wiping away a tear as I left my sleeping newborn to, say, walk to the mailbox. (You read that right, THE MAILBOX, but during that walk, my inner nut-job mommy was wailing, “This is just the first of a lifetime of moments you will have to leaaaaaave hiiiiiiiiim!”)

But when Henry was born, maybe it was the surprise early arrival, or the fact that this time I really had something to cry about, that gave me an unexpected steeliness in the weeks after his birth. All of my energies, formerly devoted to obsessing over the impact this new baby would have on the delicate sensibilities of my precious firstborn, went to rooting for this little fellow hidden in a tangle of tubes. If that needy, weepy post-partum mommy was around, I never even noticed her.

So now, as I watch him wiggle out of my arms down to the floor and walk away from me (rubbing salt in the wound as he says something that sounds a lot like “bye!”), I am feeling a little weepy and wanting desperately to stop time, something I would love to chalk up to delayed-reaction post-partum hormones. It’s not that we aren’t overjoyed at his accomplishments. We greet each new milestone with cheers and applause, and I’m beyond thrilled that this baby, the one who could hardly lift his head at six months and didn’t sit up until eight months, is showing us that an early arrival really just means a head start.

But it’s just that with each new first comes the grieving of a last. It means greeting a strange new being (with NEEDS! and WANTS!) that has replaced that sweet tiny baby that I keep in my heart, but who is nowhere to be found in the present. And watching Will running, climbing and jumping out of toddlerhood at a breakneck speed reminds me that the pace only increases from here.

So really, I think it just means I miss this sweet six-week old baby, who slept and slept and slept all his days and nights away, until one day he woke up and gave us a smile.

And I miss this six-month-old roly-poly bundle of joy, who cooed and smiled and laughed whenever I walked into the room, but was powerless to move anywhere on his own.

But I guess it won’t be too long before I’m telling you how much I miss this little eleven-month-old maverick, too.

 

And someday, a VERY long time from now, I might even tell you I that I miss this monkey, too. MAYBE.

 

(Custom-made onesie by Rush and Sarah.)

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14 Responses to “It’s not like he’s LEAVING HOME or anything”

  1. Mike Says:

    This is the best post you’ve written yet. Wow. Love it. Talk about putting it out there. Great, great stuff.

  2. ashley Says:

    oh man those chubby little legs. adorable.

    beautiful post anna.

  3. amygeekgrl Says:

    love to see the onesie through the first year.
    and what a great tribute to your little man.

  4. B. Says:

    wonderful.

  5. Christina Says:

    Oh Anna! You have me in tears! I think this is something every mother can relate too…I know I can. It’s so bittersweet to watch our little ones grow up, leaving babyhood behind. Such a lovely tribute to your little Henry.

  6. sdh Says:

    awww…the onesie still fits (sort of).

  7. melody Says:

    The tender moments of motherhood. Letting go at each stage of my boys lives has always been difficult. But just remember, there is always something new waiting no matter what their age.

    Your photos of Henry are fantastic…he’s a cutie.

  8. Jen Says:

    hi, anna ;-)

    I can completely relate to this. I was a complete mess up until Eli’s first birthday, dwelling way too much on how he was growing and changing, which is not hard to do since they do it so much and so fast in that first year. Since then, I’ve really been able to take a step back, and it’s not so hard. BUT — I still think about it!! They’re just so precious, and a part of us, particularly as mothers, wants them to always be little, so we can protect them, and shield them, and be their number one go-to-girl. Hope the birthday is a great celebration of the joys of the first year and all of those still to come!

    Thanks for the compliments and comments on my BSM blog! I left you some info there, but I thought I’d include it here as well. Here are my settings:

    f/3.2, 1/500 sec., ISO 200, taken with my Rebel XT and my 50 mm 1.8 lens

    also, I tinkered a bit in Photoshop with a screen layer and a soft light layer, then sharpened.

    hope this helps! ;-) i love your blog, by the way!

    Happy Friday!

  9. traceyclark Says:

    snif snif.

  10. Jen M Says:

    Again, your boys are so darn cute it hurts! What a great post. As you may remember, I more than relate! And your little one is walking already – wow!! My Jack (one in July) is making NO MOVE to walk. He can stand, but basically prefers to be on a hip. Yours looks like such a mobile little spider monkey. SO CUTE.

  11. Jen M Says:

    p.s.

    If I ever have another boy (God help me) I am so stealing the name Henry ;)

  12. Kate Says:

    Happy Birthday Henry!!!!!

  13. EIS Says:

    Happy Birthday, Henry! What a wonderful post, Anna!

  14. Fiona - Moment by Moment Says:

    super-charged post-partum hormone attack

    I went through sometimes still go through this. My daughter Airlie Fae was born at 27+5 and I look at her now 17months on and its amazing. I remember her first birthday that day I kept reflecting about the year that had been. I kept thinking I had not even met you on this day. I had Airlie due to pre eclampsia and HELLP syndrome and I had to have her under a general and she was taken to NICU and I was taken to ICU 2days later I met her finally as they wheeled me in on a bed.
    Anyway if you like to read more about our story please feel free to check out my website and blog at http://www.momentbymoment.com.au
    if you have Henry’s story written out or would like to write it up please feel free to submit it to YOUR JOURNEY area on my website.

    I hope the birthday party went well and everyone had a wonderful day.
    take care

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