Yeah, suppose most people don’t use the word ‘looming’ to describe birthdays — unless of course it is their own and they have aging-issues.
Whingari is 2 weeks and 2 days from her first birthday. 16 days.
I’ve never been sentimental or had bittersweet feelings about my children growing and developing and reaching birthday milestones. But this one feels so different. Is it because she’s my daughter? Is it because she is probably my last baby? Is it because, as a homebirth, her birth is the one that resides in my heart in the most complete and resonating way? Maybe all of these things.
I’ve been there at every developmental milestone: holding up her head, sitting up, finding her hands, crawling, first tooth, walking, first words….all of it, with great joy that she’s so healthy and intelligent and spirit-filled. I don’t wish for her to be a baby forever. And yet, she’s gonna be one soon, and that brings a mixture of sadness and joy.
So, my toddler (she started walking about 3 days before the 10 month mark) is about to be 1 year old.
She was born 12/12/2006 by the light of nothing more than the lights on the christmas tree — which is now up, on and in our living room. Everytime I look at its shimmer, I remember that it was the glow that cast upon her beautiful face in her first hour on this earth. It was the light by which I first saw her perfect little face.
So while I mourn the loss of my last baby — I celebrate the healthy, vibrant development of my beautiful woman-child.
One of the themes of the book Last Child in the Woods (see previous post this month) is that Nature gives children/people opportunities to test themselves. Especially, it would seem, with regard to the immutable properties of physics — like gravity.
When I saw the following unfold, my first reaction was to go tell Nic (Theo was asleep at the beginning) to stop; that he might get hurt; that it wouldn’t work. But instead I watched from the living room, sleeping/nursing baby in arms. (While chanting the familiar mantra: We have good insurance, we have good insurance…)
And I was bestowed with the gift of being completely and utterly wrong. He figured it out. And even in person (as in these pix) it seems utterly impossible…but there it is/was. Enjoy!
…when surrounded by good people.
I am absolutely surrounded and enriched by the dearest souls I’ve ever known. And they’ve each given me gifts.
From Chris: utter, unquestioning, unhesitating, complete belief in me.
From Nic: infectious laughter; unquenchable desire to be only himself; proof that children (people) will learn completely & totally and on their own schedule when loved. trusted & unthwarted.
From Theo: mischief, mirth, animated eyebrows, great hugs, funny, funny, funny movements, giggles & catch-phrases.
From Whingari: total & complete devotion…and the most beautiful, soul-ful and soul-filled eyes ever bestowed on a living creature.
From Anna: unquestioning friendship; unparalleled mama-support & acceptance.
From Pam: such love, compassion, gifts-of-service and self; and total lack of judgementalism.
From Jaymi: free-spirited love & acceptance; the gift of passion and honesty and enthusiasim; love without barriers or pre-conceived limitations.
From the children: love of life, zest, honesty, a gazzillion hugs and loads of kisses.
If I didn’t mention you, please know that this is not meant to be an exhaustive list…just the beginning of many such posts-of-gratitude.
Theo has his own art studio. 🙂
This makes me HUGELY happy.
He has paper, paints (tempura and watercolor), coloring pencils, glitter glue pens, crayons, scissors, alphabet stamps, paint brushes….and the freedom to create whatever he wants independently.
Freedom is the key. Not only was he previously at the mercy of my schedule for getting the paints out; he also had to live within the limitations of what I could imagine — and the level of mess I could tolerate.
Now, all the supplies are within reach and he is on his own. He can get what he wants and make what he wants and not be limited by my frequent ‘crises of imagination.’
I hope that he will invite me in some days to create with him.
He’s my artist. His soul has always been an artist. And I hope that this allows for some self-guided art therapy as he makes this confusing transition from cared-for baby child to in charge of oneself young boy.
What is an extraordinary life? Why is this what I seek for my family?
I know it has nothing to do with ‘getting ahead,’ ‘ keeping up with the Joneses,’ or expecting prodigy-esque behaviors from my children. I’m quite happy to find balance, eschew the consumptive behaviors of my particular neighbors, and celebrate my childrens’ normal (even if vastly creative & articulate) intelligences.
It has something to do with Passion and Bliss Seeking and Resistance to Widget-dom.
I’ll be ruminating on these thoughts over the next few days. I’ll share as I understand.
Please, do share your thoughts on the phrase: What is an extraordinary life? I anticipate your comments eagerly…