there have been a few moments in my life when, just as they are beginning to happen, i think to myself it will be a forever kind of memory. where i can physically feel a moment moving slower, becoming clearer, cementing itself into my long-term memory. it feels like one of those flashback scenes from a movie: the light going golden, the edges of the picture growing blurry, the voices and laughter gaining an echo-like quality to them.
tonight, in the midst of a most mundane moment, i had such a memory. i felt it. a flashbulb going off in my mind's eye, illuminating the very scene i was watching unfold. i couldn't quite believe what was happening, while simultaneously knowing this was being written into my book of life's most wonderful moments.
i sat on the couch, holding aidric in my lap. we were expecting his grandma in just a few more minutes. i had him up past his bedtime, in an effort to let her say hello. he was squirming and fussing, asking for the bottle that would do him in for the night, but overall being a good sport as i asked him to fend off sleep for me. to occupy him, i was standing him up on my belly, occasionally swooping him toward my face and making a bumbling airplane noise. i would laugh at myself, and he would smile. i was marveling at this baby boy that was outgrowing his babyness all too quickly. i swooped him down again, quickly kissing him on the forehead. he cooed. i stood him upright. he is really no longer a newborn. he has gotten so tall, so tall he keeps outgrowing his baby chub any time it begins to accumulate. he is a lanky baby. i wonder if this means he will be taller than me. i swooped him in again. bbbppfftt came my best plane imititation, then laughing at him. he is 4 months old tomorrow. that makes him 1/3 of a year old. i am finding out, this is how mothers tell time.
bbbppfftt. i swooped him again, laughing, again at his delight. except this time, i wasn't laughing at him. i was laughing with him. a real live, full blown laugh came bubbling out of him. flashbulb.
it's this beautiful, wonderful thing, motherhood. you hear it all your life. me, i've known a piece of it all my life. having babysat, nannied, and taught for years upon years, i've grown attached and built relationships with babies and children as long as i remember. i've always felt i knew just how great getting to be somebody's mama would be one day. i didn't. i don't think anyone could. we've all heard the wait until you're a mother bit, tuning out anytime someone talks about the way their child did something for the first time, as if it was the first time they themselves had ever done it before. i knew it must be wonderful. i just couldn't have had any idea how true every thing i've ever heard about it is.
i couldn't believe aidric had just laughed. it was a full blown chortle, not just a giggle or an excited coo. i instantly wanted to hear more. i excitedly praised him, hugged him, kissed him, held him close and asked him just how long he'd been trying to do that for? how long had he been trying before he had finally done his first full blown belly laugh? i tried to persuade him to give me more. i swooped him some more. really throwing myself into making the gosh darned best airplane noises i possibly could, he smiled. still, he didn't make a peep. a little bummed, i kept trying, to no avail. i felt silly when i realized i was trying so hard, my noises no longer resembled much of anything, but a quite loud and boisterous growling. i laughed at myself, for becoming so ridiculous in my eagerness to entertain him. i was laughing at myself, when i was joined by aidric's laughter again. i paused, laughed again. aidric laughed, too. i felt warm. i kissed that boy all over. whether he was mimicking me or truly delighted by my laughter, i didn't know and i didn't care. either way, i was the center of my boy's world for a moment. and as my flashbulb memory went off, i knew, too, that the times this was true would be numbered.
i'm not crying, you're crying.