Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Too Big for My Lap*

week 4 018

Four weeks old

 

From the time he was small, Charles would sit on my lap for a story any chance he got.  Before he could talk, we’d snuggle in the rocking chair, my arms holding him tight as I turned the pages and told the tales. 

 

Even when he didn’t smell so fresh, he always smelled like a little boy, my little boy, and I would sneak big whiffs of the top of his baby head.  I could study the whorls of his hair as he listened intently to the story and feel his breath move in and out.

 

He’d ask me, in the early days, “Yap?  Yap, mommy?”  Later, that evolved to a very polite, “Please, mommy, can I sit in your lap?”  The answer was always yes.

 

December 6 027

About a year old

 

But something began to happen over the past few months: I could no longer see the pages I was reading and Charles could no longer get comfortable on my lap.  His long legs would hang over the side of mine, he’d wiggle his butt in an effort to get comfortable, and I’d end up with a pain in my neck from peering around his large noggin.

 

Still, when he didn’t ask me to sit in my lap the other night, I was sad.  I asked him, “Please, Charles, would you sit on my lap?”  He said, “No, mommy, I want to stand next to you so I can see better.”

 

His head reaches well above my waist.  He’s eloquent with a large vocabulary.  He’s making leaps in development and the boundless energy that has always sprung from some inexhaustible source inside of him is more targeted these days.  He begs to play soccer and baseball and basketball and wants to know when we can run races again.

 

He still loves books and reading and asks me ten times a day to read him a story.  We brought home 20 pounds of books from the library the other day.  But our lap days are over.

 

He’s willing to stand next to me right now, to let me be his partner while he grows, at least for a little while longer.  But as soon as they’re born, babies start pulling away, developing their own personalities, their own dreams and ambitions.  Charles is pulling away and learning to belong to himself more than to me.  It’s a good thing, a thing for which I am proud.

 

I miss the smell of his head, the feel of his body in my arms. But he’s not a baby anymore, and he prefers his stories standing up.

 

February 2012 010

 

*There are very few photos of me with Charles throughout his young life.  Jamie’s, too.  This will probably be one of my biggest regrets: that I was taking the photos rather than in any photos.  So, you get photos of Tony doing the reading because there are actually none of me.

1 comment:

Roger Holeman said...

When I read to him, I asked him to sit in my lap and he said, "No, my legs are too long." LOL