04 December 2006

ideology at 4 am

The Lion woke up at 4 this morning. I guess I really can't complain, because this is the first time he has woken in the night since he was about 4 months old. It's so fascinating to me how these little babies are born and they immediately possess personalities that are so distinctly their own. And how ridiculously unfair that I was blessed with these 2 amazing sleepers and my poor friend, Amy, was given not one but two babies who barely sleep at all. Sitting there in Lion's room with him in the halfdark I really thought about Amy a lot, wondering how on earth she is surviving. I mean, she is breastfeeding still, too, so downing endless cups of coffee to get through the day is not a possibility. And on top of not getting any sleep, her little girl, Maggie, is in preschool now so Amy is constantly getting sick. Amy, I am thinking of you. You are truly a Wonder Woman.

It was really very sweet, sitting there with the Lion, holding him in my arms, listening to his "Curious George" soundtrack. I can remember sitting in that same big armchair with Blue, who was never a very cuddly baby. She would be squirming around, standing on my lap, pulling my hair or beating on the back of the chair with her little hands while I tried desperately to savor the moment. My little boy, on the other hand, is very content just lying in my arms. It never ceases to amaze Jonathan and I how mellow the Lion is--how he can just lay there. Jonathan asks me all the time, "Do you think something is wrong with him?" But I remember he used to ask that about Blue, too, as she tried desperately to wriggle out of his arms.

The "Curious George" soundtrack is Lion's lullabye CD. Jonathan bought it for him when he was just home from the hospital and for the rest of my life, whenever I hear Jack Johnson sing I will think of my son. As we sat there this morning in the chair, listening to the music I wondered if the familiar songs reminded the Lion of me. And then I got to thinking, Who/what am I to Lion? (You can get very philosophical at 4 in the morning.) To Blue, I am Mommy. I am more mellow, much less playful than Daddy, but I also shout less, too. Mommy is the one she runs to when she is hurt, Daddy is the one who comforts her when she is scared. Our roles are pretty clearly defined. But who am I to Lion?

Am I the familiar sound of the "Curious George" soundtrack? Am I a bottle? Am I dark hair to tug on? Am I coffee breath? Am I a clean diaper? Am I his whole world?

Jonathan tells me all the time how much the Lion loves me. And I know it is true. He is my boy. I am the one with him for most of the day. I am the one who sees that his immediate needs are met. Which is not to say that Jonathan doesn't. He is much more involved than most fathers. But he has a dayjob. And by calling the Lion my boy, I am not claiming all of his affection. He loves Jonathan too. He calls him dada and he has a special, huge smile that uses every part of his fat little face that only appears when he sees Jonathan. And he loves Blue. He can't seem to sit still when he sees her. And he follows her around the house on his hands and knees like a little puppy.

But I am something different, something more. I don't know how to put it into words. To him, and to Blue when she was littler, I am the world. I am sort of an extension of Lion, in his mind. He knows who we all are, and he even has a name for Jonathan. But I remember it took Blue for ever to finally call me mama. And I don't think it is a linguistic thing. She was already saying much more complex words, like balloon and good girl. I think, and I don't mean to sound conceited at all, but I think it is just that Blue didn't see why I needed a name, because I was Everything.


Anonymous said...

You are so profound... your blog seems like something you'd see Mom's around the world forwarding to eachother. You are so amazing (just thought you might need to hear that :) ).


Anonymous said...

Let's start exercising together. We can go for long walks with the kids or walk the dogs.