Wednesday, February 07, 2007

When Anton was born, I was convinced that he looked more like Doug than myself. Not that it matters. Back and forth, back and forth, one day I'd claim his eyes as Dusenberry's, then give them back to the Elser's the next. Very confusing. Futile, I know. But still - aren't I in there SOMEWHERE?

So I did a little digging and created a page of photos to prove I really AM his mother and that Doug and I are both in there. A lot of folks have mentioned he looks like an exact combination of the two of us, which pleases me. I think the overall picture of Anton looks immediately like Doug, but when you look in the details, you see me as well. Right now I'm hoping he's got my big square smile. I hope? I hope!

And how is Anton these days? At 4.5 months old, he's now 15 pounds and a sweet, sweet boy. His eyes have discovered his hands, which thrills him. He'll grab at anything you dangle in front of him and thinks his fist tastes fabulous. I can now talk him out of crying, which I think is fabulous. His length is in the 90th percentile - 26 inches. Way to go Anton!

He got his first cold a few days ago - mine came shortly after. Mom has it now. I think Dante should have created an extra special level of hell just for these moments. The peaceful baby you once had, who slept through the night and never threw up on you now wakes up twice a night and tops each feeding off with lovely gut wrenching cough - productive enough to vomit the milk you just fed him. He is fussy, cranky, tired, confused and on top of that, YOU'RE sick yourself. It is an entirely draining drag. But I'm still in love, you see?

Very much enchanted and in love. Entirely consumed. Aching with love. Infatuated. Grateful. He is my miracle. What I've waited for for so long.

I had a very good week at PC. The new God poster concepts were presented. This class is very smart. Sharp. Dedicated and sensitive. Yesterday afternoon a few of us took our turns crying. This is the most emotionally brave group I've ever taught. I walk out of class at the end of the day, entirely drained again, but sooooo jacked up. Like you've had too much coffee from staying up late to finish a job and can finally fall asleep - but you can't from all the adrenaline. This is why I teach. It is the most gratifying career. I'm not exaggerating when I say that during each and every class I teach, there is a moment when I pause to thank God for putting me there.

I've thought a lot about God these days. More than I have in a long time. I suppose after being so helpless during my pregnancy and struggling to heal postpartum has brought me closer to God. When I look at Anton, I know God exists. Just look at him. This new person. He GREW in me. IN ME. And we are linked.

Anton has brought more stress, tension and anxiety into my life. The life I so carefully organized and perfected. Once he arrived, all I knew, I had to relearn. Everything was different. Everything changed. If marriage and having children complicates things so much, why go to the trouble of asking for either or both? I'll tell you why. Because with all that tension, confusion and fear comes 10 times more love. It's hard-wired in us. Make more babies to create more love. Love more to make more babies. It's how our species has thrived.

We humans like to make things happen.

Mom bought Anton his first pair of shoes and we recently slipped them on his perfect pink little feet. I cried instantly. 1 - because he looked so incredibly cute in them and 2 - because shoes are made for walking. "Oh Anton. You're not going to use those shoes to walk away from me are you?" How pathetic a cry is that? I got my first glimpse of mourning each stage a child moves out of to grow into a new one.

Raising Anton will mean slowly saying goodbye to him. I know that sounds so dark - but I've never felt this co-dependant before. I've lost my big brother already. And my husband lost his mother. My father's currently fighting cancer. Mortality has never been so real. Even my own has been considered. Do I risk losing myself again just to give Anton a sibling? I think not.

So this will be my only child. I am just about sure of it. I have to fight so hard, the crazy voice in my head that's convinced I will lose him and then I'll have nothing again. What do I do with that insecurity? It is larger than life. I think it's just my job to be OK with the possible loss and love on Anton anyway. I will not deny him that love out of selfishness or fear. I will raise an optimist. A realist. Someone who sees the value in creating good no matter what.

Someone wants to make things happen.

Good things happen.


kuh reel yuh said...

And here I am agonizing over just my God poster. You must be exhausted hearing all of our stories.

Sorry to hear about your father. Cancer sucks. Really, really sucks. I feel silly saying "I'll be praying for you" - like I do it much these days anyway (maybe that's my problem??) - but I will be.

Anonymous said...

Raising Anton also means saying hello. Getting to know more of the person he is and will become. Talking about and exploring the world.

In the last year of my dad's life he got to know and understand me better than i could have ever hoped. So, in a way, the process of his departure brought about a new level of intimacy between us, a beginning of sorts.

Not to say that losing someone is necessarily positive, but like you were saying, you have to try to see the good no matter what. Instead of worrying about what you can lose, look ahead to what you and your son will gain.

You are beginning a great journey, one that moves you and Anton forward into new territory–not growing old, but growing up and further, together.