I found myself up at 4 am this morning with a wide awake singing son. His happy noises were so loud that I worried they would wake his sister, so we took the party downstairs where he played on his activity mat for what felt like an eternity. I tried topping him off with a snack begging him as he ate to "sleeeeeeep." As we sat there afterward, me half asleep and Connor half awake, I considered how lucky we have been that he has gone right back to sleep for us and that we have rarely had an overnight that involves a sad baby. Sure, we still have a baby that wakes up three times, but unhappy he is not. I thought about his babydom; how quickly it is passing by, how alert he has become, how needy he used to be, and how there are times when he stands jumping on my lap that I imagine I might put him down on the floor and he will toddle away.

In Connor's early babydom our bedroom was my retreat. I spent most days upstairs with him, nestled next to me on the Boppy or in my arms. I brought all the day's activities to him; the computer, phones, lunch, snacks, magazines. It was our little sanctuary. When Caroline was home I further subjected her to this sequestered state, dragging toys and books from her room into ours, letting her drink juice on our bedding, leave a trail of goldfish crumbs in the sheets, and she watched many, many shows and movies. I know that part of the reason I did that was because it contained the chaos, another part was because it helped me keep the house "show ready" (and isn't that funny to say now since it is still sitting on the market), but mostly I think it was because I was so overwhelmed at what was happening in our little world that keeping my little family together in that bedroom quelled my anxiety somehow. I could sit there with them, eat yogurt, drink gallons of water, and feel like I was in control.  I could put them together on our bed and pack the linen closet, or wipe the dust off the flat surfaces of the room for the 50th time. It was warmer up there too, so I could keep the heat lower in the house, keeping us all a bit more comfortable. I was a mama bear tending her cubs, but I wasn't really tending to myself very well.

Since we've been back in MA, life hasn't been like that. We might be sharing intimate space with two generous adoring grandparents, but we are living life more fully, taking it all in with giant gulps, and I'm braver, oh so much braver, about getting them out. Even if out is CVS or the Post Office. It's wonderful to know that the lockdown period is behind me. Our world still feels completely off kilter, but we are coping, we are getting there, and we have great hopes for what lies ahead. The unknown LOOMS, but we'll never be sequestered again.

1 comment:

  1. Eileen3:45 PM

    Thanks for this post. It is nice to know that other parents have been on 'lockdown.' My daughter has been very difficult, and now at 6 months, I'm finally beginning to feel like she and I can conquer the world together. Or at least not completely fall apart while participating. I'm glad to see that I'm not alone. Thanks.