3rd place blog topic winner of the poll I took back HERE was "Latest and Greatest on Quint and Motherhood".
Here's your nickel tour ~
We just had our third and final post-placement meeting with the social worker yesterday. It was fine - uneventful even. We met, we chatted - she gave me some good advice, and we hugged and said "let's not do this again" (chuckle chuckle) Actually, she's also our SW for Keira - so we'll be seeing her again for an update before we accept our referral.
Next month marks a year that we've been home and I guess the thing that strikes me the most is how much he has grown and changed in the last 11 months. It's like warp speed - and yet, it feels like eons ago that we were in Africa being handed this little bundle of giggles and curiosity. Sadly, everyone who says "enjoy it because it flies by" is right. It truly does fly by. And remarkably - you find that as much as you value the milestones, you miss what has passed even more. And you don't really see it coming. You want for them all the "nexts" while not really enjoying the "nows". You move through the phases of wanting to watch them grow. Rolling over, sitting, standing, crawling, walking, babbling, talking, running...next thing you know and you've got a certified big boy/girl. It's shocking - where did it go? Oh that's right...I was the one on the other side of the lens saying "thatta boy...you can do it...there you go!" And just like that...he was my big boy.
Yesterday he was a tiny six month old who had never tasted solid food, couldn't sit up on his own, and smiled constantly. Today, he's a carb lovin', "get yer motor runnin", catch me if you can toddler who is still smiling constantly - in between temper tantrums, that is.
I'm still getting used to the idea of being someones mother, actually. It still amazes me how much you can love another person. How frustrated you can get at a little person who knows every single button to push on your panel, and then how quickly that frustration turns to laughter when they flip on the charm and smile winningly at you. How tired I can actually get chasing after a 17 month old...and think that I can't possibly be any more tired...and then low and behold...I am.
For every down side, there seem to be many more up sides. For every moment of pure hair-pulling insanity, there are tons of simple pleasures just being his mom.
I can't lie - there are days I want to jump overboard and pop a hole in the dingy. But there are no nights when I put him to bed with a kiss and a good squeeze and an "I love you, buddy boy", that I don't close his bedroom door and say to myself "he's the best boy ever..."
It's just God's way of refilling the tank daily. You think you can't do it again - can't get up and face it again - can't find one more thing that's amusing about having your cell phone dumped into the toilet, or your cat's tail pulled, or your dogs water bowls thrown in the floor, or your car keys thrown away.....(I could go on...) and then you kiss them goodnight and suddenly all of that melts away. It's remarkable. And each morning, you're excited to see their little face all over again, and experience a new day with them - and explore the world they see. I don't know how it happens, it just...does.
I thank God every day that He saw fit to give Quint to us to love and to raise and to know. It seems like all the time we hear people say "I can't imagine my life without my baby". I get what they mean, but, well, I can imagine it. Quite well, actually. I lived it for too many years. I know exactly how my days and nights began and ended without him. How my time was spent, what I did and where I went. I know what it was like to live my life without him.
Yes, I had free time, but I didn't always use it very wisely. Yes, my house was cleaner and I read more, shopped more and I went where I wanted to when I wanted to. Yes, I lived differently - and I don't have many regrets about that life. But now - comparatively? You couldn't pay me all the gold in the world for an exchange.
I waited for what felt to me like an entire lifetime of loneliness and longing - just getting through each day full of my little "freedoms" - but broken on the inside. Longing on the inside. Tired on the inside.
So motherhood is everything that everyone tells you it is. Over-rated...sometimes. Under-rated...a lot of times. Hard work? The hardest work you will ever do and that's not a cliche. Fun and rewarding? Oh so very, very much. Tiring? Like you can't believe - and still won't until you live it. Frustrating? Undeniably has its moments. Fulfilling? There are no words to tell you, truly. Heartbreaking? Utterly. Makes your heart swell to like 50 times the capacity you thought even remotely possible? You better believe it. Love like nothing you've ever known? Bullseye.
And so I guess the latest and greatest is just that it's everything it's cracked up to be. The good and the not as good as you'd like it to be. The frustrating, the happy, the sad, the ridiculously cute, the insanely charming, the meltdowns, the triumphs, the achievements, the rewards, the tears, the laughter, the fatigue, the hunger, the doubt, the kisses, the hugs, the boo-boos, the unwanted advice, the criticism, the pats on the back, the encouragement, the support and the lack-there-of, the freedoms gone and the responsibilities come to stay, the wear and tear and the broken, the diapers, the vomit, the fevers, the gadgets, the "20-minutes longer to do everything" adjustment period, the baths, the smell of baby powder and lotion, the way they smell when they snuggle against you, the loss of "life" as you knew it and the gain of life as you now know it...sweet, sweet life...
and most of all, the good night kiss and tight squeeze and an "I love you, buddy boy".
Best little boy ever...