Monday, September 11, 2006

Constant Craving

I gaze upon your sleeping form through the haze and static of the black and white baby monitor. If not for this piece of technology I would never see you slumber, since these days you eschew sleep for mischief making. Even in the car you hold onto wakefulness tightly with both of your chubby fists, daring the sandman to force you into unconsciousness.

It's nights like these that I see you in the monitor and I long to climb the stairs and enter your room and climb into your crib with you. I want to mold my long body into the corners and angles of your small bed, around your ever lengthen frame, and drink in the remaining bits of your baby smell. Was it only 17 months ago that you came from me. Was it really 17 months? It seems so long ago. It seems like yesterday.

I've oftentimes told your father that I wanted to go to you, to dare waking you just to be close. What I didn't tell him was that I needed to go to you. Would he understand if I were to tell him that I craved your touch? Probably not, given the times that I complain about your various capers and escapades as you grow older and more bold. But I do. I crave you. It was five months ago, on your first birthday, that you decided to wean yourself. True, we had been working up to that day, but ultimately it was you who decided when the time was right. Since then, I've held on to whatever intimacy you've offered. A kiss here, a hug there. A grasp of fingers on my thigh or wrist when you're in that semi-comatose state while watching Elmo before naptime. Your breath becoming slower and heavy. Winding down. My favorite time.

A month ago, maybe longer, we had our last nap together. It was completely unintentional, yet I remember it with more fondness now than I felt for it when it was happening. Then, at the time, I thought about the lost hours, the crick in my neck from sleeping in an awkward position, your loss of sleep from not being in your own bed and the terror that reigned on our house at your hands afterward. These days you have no need to snuggle with me before bedtime, yet I continue to try to cling to those moments for dear life. You have little need for our cuddle time, eschewing my embrace for the comfort of your crib. Though we still sit together before bed and you place your head on my collar bone, as is our habit, for an instant, if not for our routine I would barely notice your touch. It happens that quickly. Then you tip your head to the left, our sign for sleep, and you mutter "Buh", your word for "bed", clearly letting me know that you don't need my comfort or the warmth of my body to induce sleep. I put you in bed, cover you with your blanket, hand you your favorite lovey and tell you "Sleep tight. I love you." I love you.

Then I close the door.

Yet, still, my breast aches for you. I long for the contentment I feel from your breath on my cheek, your warmth on my skin. I think about your open-mouth kisses, or how I taught you "Eskimo kisses" and how you oblige me with a shake of your head, letting me rub the tip of my nose to yours. How I long to be in that warm, dark room with you, dreaming of nothing more than sunshine and graham crackers. I long, I need, I crave.

There's a noise from the monitor. She's moving. You're moving. You're restless, moving back and forth from a child pose - butt in the air, knees bent beneath - to sprawled out, each limb close to touching an opposite rail. Will you call for me? Will you need my comfort? I pose, ready for your cry, your appeal, bidding, summons. I wait for you to summon me. I wait for you to need me as much as I need you. But often, more times than not, you go back to sleep and I am left wanting. How can a mother complain about that? I don't complain, out loud. Inside I wish that you needed me more to rub your back, caress your cheek, or hum "I Will" to you while you return to your hard repose. Today, you don't. Tomorrow, perhaps, you will.

Until then I will wait until you need me, a fraction of how much I need you. Until then I will keep this primordial need tucked deep inside me. The primal instinct, the most ancient of all feelings. More animal than the need to feed or procreate. More familiar than breathing. The craving that needs to be satisfied. The fire that burns. The physical need of a mother for her child.

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This was a response to HBM's call for posts about the physical love of a mother for her child. Does it adequately sum up my physical need for my child. In a word, no. No words that I have could ever describe the need I feel for my daughter. But I feel like all women who have had a child know exactly what I am talking about. Sometimes words are not enough, yet they are everything.

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Don't forget about the "Name That Dog Blog" contest. I've gotten some really great suggestions for names and taglines so far (how the hell did you guys get to be so witty?). Even if you don't have an idea for a name or tagline, vote for the one(s) you like the best from the ones that have already been suggested. I'm totally undecided so far and I need - oh, how I need - your help. Winners will be announced on Friday.

27 comments:

Mr. Chicky said...

Darling, I may be biased, but that was one of the most beautiful things that I have ever read. I know that you don’t see it yourself, but often I look at you and our beautiful little girl together and you make parenting seem so natural … so simple. I know that that simplicity is only the fa├žade that masks a great deal of complexity and hard work. I have never told you this, but when I look at you two, cuddling for those fleeting moments as she winds down in the evening, I too crave for time to stand still. I am never so happy as in that moment when I see the two most beloved people in my life sharing that moment. That most simple and yet most complex moment between mother and daughter. You may not always hear this often enough from me, but you have no idea how much you inspire me every day.

I love you.

carrie said...

God, I don't know what touched me more, this post, or the comment from your husband. Your words are amazing, inspiring and familiar. Thank you for sharing your soul with us.

Carrie

Ashley said...

it is WAY too early in the morning to have tears! that was amazing! i feel the exact same way with my little girl but never would've been able to put it into words.

Mother Bumper said...

wonderful

absolutely wonderful

I'm with Carrie above, I don't know which made me tear up more, you or Mr. Chicky.

Thanks for sharing

julia said...

What a gorgeous post. What a lovely reply from your husband.

Someone pass the Kleenex, please.

radioactive girl said...

Now you made me cry! I can totally relate to the entire post, in fact that is exactly why I never complain when my baby (he's almost 3!) wakes me up at night with his sleepwalking. I get an extra snuggle, how could I possibly complain? Then I read your husband's post and seriously? You husband is amazing. You are amazing. Your baby is amazing. Such a beautiful family! I'm so lucky to have had the opportunity to read this! Thank you!

lynsalyns said...

That was lovely. Telling and I know of what you speak. I, too, secretly live for the mornings my baby wakes up hard and early so I can cuddle her back to sleep in our bed.

And Mr. Chicky ... what can I say. Mrs. Chicky is a lucky girl, indeed.

sunshine scribe said...

Mr. Chicky is not biased...that IS one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Just stunning. I am all weepy now.

metro mama said...

Beautiful. It's such a hard thing to write, isn't it?

beth said...

I think you said it so well, and it is certainly not something that is easy to explain. But every mom reading this knows the truth of it all, the uncomprehendable truth of our aching need for that touch.

JayJenny said...

What a beautiful and touching post. I can't wait to have that with a child of my own, it's what life is all about.
And how lucky are you to have such a sweet and adoring husband? I think you're all pretty lucky to have each other!

Dirty Birdie Duex said...

Though my child is not born yet, I am waiting with bated breath for that first moment when I can touch her tiny hands and feet. I cradle and rock my belly as though she can already sense me soothing her and reassuring her of my presence.

There are no words in any language to explain the physical ache that represents the need to hold someone. The closest I can come to it is being intensely thirsty and having nothing to drink.

Your post caught my breath in my throat and brought tears to my eyes. It's Mom's like you that give everyone hope in the children of tomorrow.

{{kisses}}
Becka

Jess Riley said...

Okay, you, Chicky Baby, and Mr. Chicky are officially the most wonderful family I know. :-) This post got me all verklempt.

Jozet said...

that was gorgeous, just gorgeous writing

amazing

i'm sorry i'm typing like ee cmmings, but i've been dealing with my own crick in my neck...

so much of what we all experience is the same

you still say it most eloquently

mothergoosemouse said...

Oh man. Your post got me to the verge, and Mr. C pushed me over the edge.

Beautiful. And so true.

Mamacita Tina said...

That.Was.Beautiful!!! My oh my, Mrs. Chicky, you DO have a way with words.

soleclaw said...

Exactly.

What a touching post. It shook me to my core, to say the least. I'm still blubbering.

Your husband's comment was amazingly sweet. Just so...loving.

Brony said...

That was very well written. I could feel your love and sense your longing.

I sneak in to catch a climpse of my boys sleeping every night before bed. I love it. In bed they are still my babies.

lildb said...

oh, god, that's lovely. you, pouring yourself into her crib, fitting yourself to its unforgiving angles, just so as to be near.

yeah. I get it, alright.

and your husband's words? made me cry a little harder than I already was doing, b/c of your words.

Mommy off the Record said...

I just read Mr. Chicky's comment. *swoon* That is so lovely, just like your post. Beautiful.

p.s. I can't believe The Dog Blog is taken. I thought I was being SO original.

sweatpantsmom said...

I have to echo the sentiments of previous commenters - your post was touching and your husband's comment the icing on the cake.

Waya said...

Your post is absolutely touching and your hubbie's comment just made me melt!

CPA Mom said...

Your post is ABFAB. I cried. At work. Thanks so much.

my mom's entry to your name the blog contest is Capricious Canine Capers. she is more clever than i am. if she wins, i'll make sure she gets the prize.

something blue said...

Your words are so beautiful and the feelings are overwhelming. That love is immeasurable and it fills me with a calm peace. It somehow puts everything into perspective and makes the world more real.

It is truly wonderful that both you and Mr. Chicky captured it so brilliantly.

kittenpie said...

Oh, cripes. That was lovely, lyrical, captured it so well.

And then that dang Mr. C almost brought me to tears on the info desk! Sheesh. Serves me right for blog-trawling at work.

Nancy said...

Oh, Mrs. C -- your post was perfect, and Mr. C's comment was seriously like the icing on the cake. The most perfect swirl of icing with little sprinkles.

I get it. I feel the same way with my girls.

halloweenlover said...

Oh my God, your post and your husband's comment made me cry in my office.

Beautiful.