boythe shock of your body:
I failed to notice
when it lost its
I had only
I had the nicest weekend with my son. He's a little over two and half and we can really spend time together now like two people enjoying each others company. We went out to eat at a little diner and he sat in the booth across from me, chatting amiably while we waited for our food and ably cutting up his own waffles with a knife and fork when the food arrived. He helped me make a cake, we chose books together at the library. It was all lovely and it felt, in a way, like what all the hard work of parenting an infant has been leading up to. And, well, one way or another of course it is. Somehow today, though, I keep feeling these waves of grief. Grief that he's growing and I don't have a baby anymore, sure, but something more too.
I think that a lot of what many people find so impossible about parenting an infant is sort of what I loved about it. I loved feeling so raw and ragged and exposed. I loved the animal survival of my days. It was the most self-annihilating experience I've ever had. The bullshit press of normal life just lifted and there was nothing but food, sleep, love, tears, yelling, laughing, pissandshitandvomit: time dilating and contracting by its own weird logic. Even after I returned to work and things got a little less far-out, that intensity was still available and often unavoidable. But as he's toddling into this reasonable boyhood, I feel myself around all the time. I can't turn around without finding myself there. And, god, I want so much and need so much. And I feel a kind of grief. And I don't know if I'm finally grieving for all that I lost over the last few years: my child-free life, my relationship, my home, my imagined future, my free time. Maybe I'm finally back, enough, from wherever I had to go to get through raising a baby to grieve all of that. Maybe I'm just grieving the loss of that raw, self-gone state as much as I'm grieving the fact that my boy is no longer a baby. I don't know where it is coming from but it perches there at the edge of all this happiness I have in my life right now, still flying away if I turn to look at it.