One Last Time…

6 Jun



Sleepover

Originally uploaded by thordora

The last piece of my daughter’s infancy just went out the door. I sold the crib.

The other night I took it out of the garage, and wiped it down. And tears welled in my eyes, remembering.

Spots still stained from the time Vivian projectile vomited all over me, the floor and the crib, ending a crying jag and allowing us some sleep. That same week we figured out the heat pad trick.

Teeth marks from teething children, Rosalyn if I remember correctly. Vivian preferred the spines of books when she teethed.

Paint marks from Rosalyn shaking the crib, and driving it into the door, to be shoved aside when opened in the morning.

Pastel doodles from a turned back.

The memory of a hot July afternoon, heavily pregnant, holding two sides together with my swollen feet as I attempted to decipher the “easy instructions”, the stain gleaming in the new light of that green room, a gentle wind fluttering.

Picking it out, flanked by my in-laws, deciding what color, what shape. Falling in love with cherry, with the idea of that perfect nursery room, the idea of a theme that never really mattered.

Coming to grips with the fact that I was becoming a mother.

I was in denial about motherhood for a good while before and after. I didn’t want it, didn’t deserve, and was scared reckless by it. People who knew me gloated, like getting pregnant was life’s revenge for me not wanting children. I knew better. I knew that somehow, someway, we wanted them. We would have been much more careful had we not been ready somehow. But I denied it, pushed away any excitement, and hope, and pretended it just was. Yet I read all the right books, and was too nervous to use the bumper pads for long.

We were so young then.

Our growing up was tied up in that wood, the moving of the platform, the little fingers that grabbed, the voices that yattered and cried, the girls who sat up and said hi.

And now….now we’re past that, the first few years mere shadows against the songs and bright eyes of today. I’ll cry later, but it’s that final cry, made of regrets, guilt and sorrows, the last I’ll ever have for those babies I couldn’t love the way I should have.

I love them that way now.

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13 Responses to “One Last Time…”

  1. Bon June 6, 2008 at 8:40 pm #

    oh jesus, this was beautiful.

    and heart-raw, too. i wonder, occasionally, if i’ll do better at babyhood this time around…my experience was not yours, but i still really only came into my own as a parent around the time O hit one…before that i was still shell-shocked, and colic-shocked, and grieving, and just…unable to really be present. i wonder. i have little moments of hope.

    but mostly i hope i’ll just forgive myself faster this time, and trust that the full on love you’re talking about will come, because i know how it has with O.

    goodbye to your crib. you are a lovely mother, IMO.

  2. Eden June 6, 2008 at 9:52 pm #

    The video… I melted a little πŸ˜‰

  3. thordora June 6, 2008 at 9:57 pm #

    I k now…they’re so much older now….

    Bon-you’ll be fine. πŸ™‚ We’ll just send you brownies and grunt every week.

  4. cinnamon gurl June 6, 2008 at 10:20 pm #

    Mmm…. brownies and grunt.

    Infancy is so much harder than anyone let on…

  5. thordora June 6, 2008 at 10:25 pm #

    no shite.

    Congrats on the house! Would you like some paint chips?

  6. bine June 7, 2008 at 7:18 am #

    what a beautiful goodbye, thor. and that video is sweet. i wonder how your girls will remember their crib?
    i repainted and gave away my own crib when i was 18, to a friend of mine who was pregnant. it had been sitting in my parents’ garage all that time. it was really weird seeing it finished in sky blue, when all i could remember it to be was cherry red.

    ummm … did that mail ever arrive? i just realised looking at my sent mail box that it probably wasn’t a brilliant idea to put “meds” into the subject line. just thinking maybe your spam filter caught it.

    have a good weekend!

  7. Hannah June 7, 2008 at 6:40 pm #

    Bon, if it makes you feel any better, I find I am enjoying James’ infancy far more than I did Isaac’s. I spend much less time crippled by fear and self-doubt, and I’m far more willing to relax and let things happen as they will.

    And dammit, now I want grunt. πŸ™‚

  8. Rebecca June 7, 2008 at 10:29 pm #

    Motherhood is such a bittersweet journey, through all the stages.

    Every time I got rid of a crib ,I ended up pregnant within months. I don’t think I will ever part with one again πŸ˜‰

  9. BroMac June 8, 2008 at 7:50 am #

    Beautiful post, Thor. You do such a fantastic job of reaching those corners of hidden truth and bringing them to the surface.

    “I love them that way now.” And that is all that matters.

  10. canadacole June 9, 2008 at 11:23 am #

    That was so beautiful and heart wrenching. I find myself unable to part with the crib, holding on to it like I wish I could hold on to my babies, none of whom are babies any more.

  11. radical mama June 10, 2008 at 9:22 am #

    I think most mothers are grateful that babies don’t have memories. We never feel like we loved them enough, appreciated them enough when they were tiny.

  12. Cynthia June 18, 2008 at 1:13 am #

    You write beautifully.

    This week, Lauren is in BC with Ross. My intent was sort through the long-ago stored baby clothes and sell them on Kijiji. I felt not only emotional, but terribly conflicted. I was prepared to part with these things because she was to be an only child. Holding and remembering, I feel overwhelmed with memories of When She Was Small. Part of me wonders if I could do better with another chance, then I realize that what I really want is another chance to do better with HER.

    Still, I haven’t posted the ads yet. I just can’t quite let go and I don’t really trust myself to make decisions these days.

  13. thordora June 18, 2008 at 6:56 am #

    oh I hear that….having no do-over sucks.

    At least on Kijiji, it’s gone quick. πŸ™‚

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