Remembrance of Things Past

Connor on the way to his first pediatrician appointment

When we first learned of our impending grandparenthood, I lamented that I had very little recall of infant behavior. Friends assured me it would “all come back,” but I was still skeptical.

Well, guess what? They were right.

Watching Connor and his parents get their bearings these first few days of life has brought back a flood of memories of my early days of parenthood. I remember how unsure I felt about everything, how I worried whether every little cry or tic or noise was “normal,” how unsettling it was that every day was different and brought some new challenge. How strange it was to obsess over the amount and quality of pee and poop.

But this time is different because I now know all these things are part and parcel of being a baby and having a baby.

Right now on his third day of life, Connor’s expectations revolve around being attached to his mother. Although I had completely forgotten that persistent need to “cluster feed” in preparation for real lactation to begin, I now remember experiencing it and how frantic I felt about it. Could it possibly be normal? Why does the child need to suckle every single minute? Am I going to be a milk cow for the rest of my life?

Most of all, with every difficult moment, I wondered “Is it always going to be this way?”

Of course now I know the answer to that question. Change is endemic to babies and children. Yesterday I was able to sit in a rocking chair and hold this sleeping baby for over two hours, and you can bet I savored every moment. When I was a young mother, I was often impatient with that process, thinking of all the other things I needed to be doing.

But now I know the opportunity for that kind of experience is relatively short-lived. Change will come, sooner rather than later.

Already today, Connor is more awake and alert, expecting more attention. He’s enjoying walking through the house with his Daddy, listening to him retell the Peter Rabbit story, opening his navy blue eyes and trying to focus on the overhead lights, the whirling blades of the ceiling fan, his Dad’s collection of model cars.

Tomorrow will be different too. And the next day after that. And all the days to come.

Today I’m just grateful for the remembrance of my past days of mothering, and even more grateful to have new memories to make with this little one.

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14 thoughts on “Remembrance of Things Past

  1. Yes, change is constant with new babies, just wish we had the perspective then that we have now. I know I did not sleep hardly at all for the first week of my daughter’s young life. I had to listen and react to every sound. The running in and out of her room putting my face down next to hers to make sure she was breathing. Racing her to the hospital as a two month old with her crying so much she was turning gray, only to find out she had colic. Boy, those were some good times, huh?!

    Enjoy your every moment with young Connor; they are sweet and the changes will be wonderful as well.

    • Indeed. We had a pretty rough night here last night – lots of fussiness. I know they’ll one day look back on nights like that with fond affection.

      Not so much right now, though! lol

  2. Love that sweater and little hat! And I can already see him growing and changing. I keep saying it, but watching you experience the birth of your grandson is pure joy for me. I try to savor my children, and it’s difficult. But not impossible. Even with my now “big boys” I notice how their responses change when I relax… just simply calm down.

    • Aww, thanks 🙂 I’ve been thinking about you and your new little one coming, too.

      It’s really a different experience when you’re older and wiser. I imagine it’s somewhat the same with successive children too.

  3. On his way to a pediatrician appointment? Wasn’t he just born? 😉

    My, how things have changed. I remember Mom telling me she didn’t get out of the hospital after having me for two weeks – seems like these new mothers and babes are getting ushered out on day two, now. Part of it’s healthy as can be – childbirth isn’t a sickness after all. And I’m sure some of it’s the “new” medical system.

    But he looks fine, and he looks about a month older. They do change, quickly.

  4. Love this post to bits, Becca! He’s adorable. I’m glad you are there to help — must be hard those first days out of the hospital!

    I can hear the joy in your words, and it enchants me!

  5. I too, am enjoying sitting in a rocker and holding the newborn grandson for hours, while he sleeps. When I was a new mother, I would have put down the sleeping baby to do something more urgent. Now I know–those moments of rest are very much needed. Grandparenthood!!! Priceless!!!

    • You know exactly what I’m talking about, Judy. It’s such a different feeling this time around. If only I knew then what I know now!!

      Enjoy your new grandson, too. I’ll be thinking of you next time I’m in the rocking chair 🙂

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