Letting go a little

Oliver started with a cold this weekend and coupled with the giant boulders he’s cutting, he’s been quite crabby at times. The thing with him, though, is that even though he’s a right stinker when he’s in a pissy mood, he’s so bloody cute that it’s hard not to want to fold him up in your arms and smother him with slobbery kisses, even after he’s walked up to you and spontaneously punched the mug you were cradling, knocking coffee all over you. Just take a look at his (somewhat outdated) picture:

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a big difference in Oliver, and I think part of it has to do with the fact that I have changed the way I react to him. I’ve tried to stop hovering over him and shadowing his every move in order to prevent him from hurting himself or making a catastrophic mess. But at the same time, I realize I want to have a bit of a life for myself, too, just like my friend who came to the U.S. some years ago told me.

One the one hand, I am so proud of the boy he is becoming. I marvel at his newfound abilities – how he sits down and, with his tongue curled outside of his lip in great concentration, slowly puts his socks on, or the excited way he recognizes shapes and colors. On the other hand, how can I keep a little life for myself at the same time?

I love and enjoy the boy he is becoming – compassionate, outgoing, confident, strong-willed. I looked at pictures of him this weekend before he’d had his first haircut and he still had a head of downy newborn hair.

I stared at images of him in tiny sleepers with fisted hands and gummy grins. I was flooded with memories – of holding him, just a tiny bundle, in my arms after I’d delivered him, touching my nose to him, whispering welcomes in his ear. Or watching him pull up on the coffee table and take his first wobbly steps, of his first word, of curling beside him in bed, breathing in his soft, newborn smell. The memories were so real it felt like I was almost there again despite it cost me so many nights of sleep.

He’s getting bigger. He’s growing up. And I’m letting go a little, but not of my memories. They stay with me. I think I found a way to keep my van from looking like a garbage can on wheels. No, seriously. My latest review of fabulous products designed to help keep your vehicle clean and organized is up, over at Mama Says. Check it out! but beware that your expectations aren’t set TOO high!