Thursday, September 27, 2007

We are stronger...when we are giving up.

Back in the day, when I made mix tapes as frequently as I now make peanut butter sandwiches, I would give each tape a title, a quote from a song within. One of my favorites included "We are stronger...when we are giving up."* I was pretty taken with the concept, which seemed to be an inherent paradox of sorts, but these words seem to soothe me at those times in life when saying goodbye to something takes more guts than just hanging on.

I have been slowly giving away my babies' clothes, Dylan's too. Even he has his own stash of "too smalls", the things he once swam around in with skinny limbs and slackened skin. Now he is all husky and chubby and vibrant, and he leaves behind heaps of teeny tiny. I have not been giving it all away, just some, and I have been giving it to my nanny. Not because she is needier than anyone else who could receive them, but because I know that if I give them to her, I can't ask for them back.

Dylan is the kind of baby who makes me want to have 100 more. He is beautiful and sweet and smiley and so easy that I almost forget him from time to time. He is my prozac, the picture of tranquility and light. He lifts me up.

So I look at him, and I crave more of him. More delicious little miracles. And I think that I might even be able to convince A to spin that wheel one more time, to stretch our emotions and our strength and our finances. I don't feel done yet. I want more.

And we could do it, I think. If I was not me. Because when I am not gazing blissfully into my children's faces, I am freaking out. I am a worrier of the worst kind. I fear the worst, always. The internet is not my friend. I guess and second guess my decisions and how they will affect these priceless little people who have entrusted me with their lives. While I have become pretty good at living in the moment, when night falls and I am finally in bed my stomach twists with worry. How is it that Chloe watches TV during dinner every night? This is definitely a bad thing, right? And Dylan's head is becoming flat from all of the time that I need him to lie down away from his sister's busy hands. He will definitely need a helmet. I watched Larry King Live last night - all about Autism. Should I split the MMR vaccine? What about flu shots? Will Chloe choke on her Flintstone vitamins? They look awfully big. And when what about my marriage? Will A and I ever be able to spend a quiet evening alone, ever again? Will he someday crave his freedom, or at least a momentary reprieve from my expressed and repressed agita?

So you can understand, that despite the fact that I have been told by friends and strangers that I am a wonderful mother, parenting is hard for personalities like mine. Nothing slides off of me. It all sticks, and sometimes erodes. I can't help it. This is what love does to me.

I truly don't have the stomach for another child. And I am not talking stretch marks. I am talking the deep cramping of concern, when fever is not breaking or milestones are not met. It's so much already with only two. The pleasure far exceeds the pain, but the pain can be debilitating. And I desperately miss my husband, who I barely have time to take in before we both pass out.

I may regret this one day, when life is easier or I have become more accustomed to all this questioning. But for now, I take solace in acknowledging my own weaknesses, that which I can not change. The right thing for me, is not be greedy -- to accept my limitations and to rejoice in what I have, and not worry about what I am giving up.

*I am ashamed to admit that this quote is from the song "Meet Me Halfway", which I believe is by Kenny Loggins. Please do not allow that to diminish my sentiment here. I am an 80s kid, after all.


At 12:53 PM PDT, Anonymous gila said...

i just sang the whole song (how do i remember it word-for-word??) from that one line to remember what song it was! i love it.
p.s. the sentiment will never be lost b/c of your quote choices... you are a good mom, and whatever you decide, it will be the best decision for your family. xoxo

At 7:02 AM PDT, Blogger beri said...

i remember you once said in a previous blog 'i am a mother to one (you just had chloe at the time) but a mother to all.' that is how i'll always think of you!!!!!!!!!

At 12:43 PM PDT, Blogger Jill said...

that song is TOTALLY on my iPod. Only bad mothers don't worry. You're doing great.

At 1:43 AM PST, Blogger Iris said...

congratulations! for you have survived 'worrying' over your two precious ones! am still stuck with one, and not getting anywhere near the second, because of the same 'worrying' condition.


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