Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Madam

Madam has discovered a foolproof way to defuse any tension that might ever arise between us. She looks up at me, smiles beguilingly, and says, “Mama.”

Seriously, it always works.

I watch her “reading” her books to her Doggie, using the same inflections I do, and I feel myself lightly tethered to the earth, like any errant wind would be able to lift me up by my pride and send me into the stratosphere.

We rub our noses together, hers a tiny replica of my own, and I tell her, “You are my life.” She considers that for a moment, then says, “Yes.”

Lately, I have been thinking about what it would be like to have another child. Of course, I have all of the standard worries, “Can we afford another child? Do we have the energy?” but the main worry is always, “Can I love another child the way I love my Madam?” I know that I would be a smarter, more confident mama—there are so many things I would do differently. I squelched a lot of my instincts, in favor of what the books said, or TEG, or my parents. As a result, I have chosen what I would consider a very high-maintenance parenting experience—we cosleep. Madam still nurses. She wakes up repeatedly through the night.

I do not think I would do these things in the future. And yet...I have learned to love the difficulties. I still look down at Madam's little nursing head and smile. We hold hands through the night.

Perhaps we love those who prove to us that we can do what we had formerly thought was impossible.

In that case, I don't think our second child, when and if we have one, will have much to worry about.

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6 Comments:

Blogger kate said...

What a lovely post, Mardougrrl. I imagine you will love them differently, but with the same passion and understanding and grace. I wonder about this sometimes, as well--in what ways will I love my new daughter differently than I love my Stella? Who will she be? How will they be together? I am excited for you and TEG that you're thinking about a second.

2:28 PM, January 24, 2008  
Blogger Melba said...

I like having two. Having 3 siblings and 2 step siblings I always knew I wanted more than one if I had one (ethan was unplanned)
Sean has 5 sisters so he always wanted lots of kids. But now we are content with two.
I like that they can and do entertain each other. Maggie doesn't like to go potty alone and often asks Ethan to come with her. I like that I don't have to get up!

I like hearing about Madam.

I miss your voice.
Is it Monday yet?
:)
XO,
Melba

3:30 PM, January 24, 2008  
Blogger Frida said...

So beautifully written (I know I go on about this, but it is not nearly as common as you might think). I think all my friends who have children expressed a similar thought to me (wondering whether they could love another child in the same way as their first) and then - as you so beautifully write here - the miraculous baby comes along and shows his or her parents that they can in fact do what they once thought impossible. Beautiful post. x

11:43 PM, January 24, 2008  
Blogger Amber said...

Everyone has this fear. But it just happens that your heart opens even bigger and deeper! I was OBSESSED with how much I loved Wyatt. LOL! I mean, he was possibly the easiest, loviest, most beautiful boy that ever lived. (No, really. He is.) But I can hardly even remember how it felt not to have G...I can't! LOL!And I couldn't imagine not having her. Now I loved them BOTH like crazy.

ox :)

11:12 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

I worried the same thing with each succeeding child...and each time the answer turned out to be yes. And what was I thinking? And how did I ever live without this child?

Beautiful, beautiful writing btw.

3:01 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Jessie said...

holy hell, girl. i'm speechless!! i have more to say but, for now, i'm going to keep it to myself. ;) there's magic happening here and so i don't want to ruin it by pointing it out. :) don't think too hard about what i just said. just keep writing!

love you,
j.

9:48 AM, January 27, 2008  

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