2/5/16

Punxsutawney Phi

My sister Celia used to have a blog: Groundhog Day with Celia Fae.  Like the Bill Murray movie, parenting can get redundant.  The premise of her blog at genesis was that she felt like as a parent and stay at home mother she lived the same day again and again.  The blog was an effort to find the extraordinary or remarkable in the repetitive and she was undeniably successful, she's a far better writer than I.  But, like many blogs started in the blog heyday, she tapered off and then ended more officially when her husband became the ecclesiastical leader of her congregation.
But this idea of parenting Groundhog Day has lingered for me.
Groundhog Day this year has struck a rather different chord with me because as Punxsutawney Phil was making his prognostication I noticed that my tiny baby newborn, now three and a half weeks, is making the switch from newborn to nearly one month old baby. He's still very tiny of course but there is a big difference between a newborn and a baby/infant. Usually the transition passes unnoticed but it seemed to have happened overnight with Philo and I'm experienced enough to objectively observe it rather than being caught unaware after it's happened.

And it just kills me.
Already I miss the newborn from a week ago. He's still in newborn diapers and tiny clothes but he's grown out of one outfit already and I miss him in it!
This is a microcosm of my very least favorite part of parenting: the growing up part.
And so I wish for Groundhog Day: the same day over and over again.  I want time to stop and my babies to stay little.
I think it's a rather cruel trick of God to give us these precious newborns and then take them away forever.  And I feel that way about every age of my children.  I miss toddler Silas.  I miss four year old Mimi and four month old Mimi.  I can't even remember newborn Jude (other than his unwanted haircut) but I want him and I want three year old Jude.  I want them back. I want to have all of them at all of their ages.
I do my best to savor every age: it goes so fast, it goes too fast.  Sleep deprivation makes me forget huge chunks and sometimes I find myself nearly weeping that my kids have gotten so big.  I know it means that I'm doing my job correctly keeping them alive and learning, but I just want all of my babies back.
The coffers have been replenished a number of times and I do get to relive their stages, but it's not the same.  Lou the tyrant is very similar to Mimi the toddler tyrant but I can't touch Mimi's perfect curls.  I have only pictures and memories, and my sleep deprived memory is so fuzzy.
I have my blog and our history but I don't have their little smells and their little hands.
The big kids are still a little unit but they don't need me as much any more. I've asked each of the children to stop growing. I push on their heads to keep them short. Nothing works.
I can appreciate this stage, of course.  They're so helpful now and I love showing them what it was like when they were babies: all hands on deck, constant needs to be met, no sleep til Brooklyn.
I appreciate that they get to see full arms and that they can now help.  They get to raise babies with me, the same way they were raised and teaching them the same lesson of selflessness that having babies requires.

Thankfully, this baby is easy. He's my easiest baby by a long shot, mostly because I finally got nursing down. It took me five kids to figure out how to get my body to cooperate but Philo has helped me master breastfeeding.
I appreciate the children's current phases: Mimi the tempestuous little mama, Jude the innocent bully big brother, Silas the emotional space cadet, Lou the sweet toddling destroyer who is learning to make us laugh intentionally.
(PS, I made this chandelier. Unrelated to this post I just needed to brag).
To combat the days that march steadily onward deeper into their childhoods I document with pictures and videos.  The pictures go here, the 10 second videos I take with my iPhone I've been posting to a private YouTube channel for the past few years so I have them all in one place and watchable at any time.
As the old saying goes, "The days are long but the years are short."  The children's stages are fleeting. But I still have some hope.
In my version of Heaven I get my babies back in all of their stages AND I get to keep having them indefinitely. I can't think of anything more heavenly. My babies for infinity.

Stay little, stay little, stay little.

7 comments:

Fae said...

I want to squish your babies with all my heart.

Aleshia Jex said...

I love babies... But I also want to hear more about that chandelier... ;)

Aleshia Jex said...

I love babies... But I also want to hear more about that chandelier... ;)

Rachel and Brad Coons said...

Don't know if it's the pregnancy hormones or that I agree with you 100%, but I cried through this whole post! Every stage is the best stage.

Janell said...

Love the chandelier! You're a great mom!

Mama Coons said...

I'm crying. It all goes too fast. I miss my babies, but I do get grandbabies:) Treasure every minute.

b.liz said...

Great post...I've missed reading your blog and this was a perfect one to come back to. yiu are spot on about the fleeting moments of motherhood and especially that newborn phase is gone in a flash. Thanks for reminding me to savor and record moments with my kids now.