Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Changes of Spring

And suddenly, in Isaiah's world, this THING happened. There was no build-up. There was no transition. HEAT appeared.

And just like that, I had to explain it to him: SPRING is here. Or as Nick says, "Just tell him that each day is the best day of his life because the weather keeps getting better and better for the next six months." That's true if you were born on December 20th.

Isaiah's legs are suddenly bare, no more extra onesies and winter caps. The warmer has been removed from his car seat to keep his skin air cool and his plumpy aura pleasant. It's suddenly warm and the first day it went from the 40s to the 80s, Isaiah slept almost half the day, as if his body went into some sort of confused mode that drank all of his energy, "I have to regulate the temperature of this big baby, we need to shut down," is what I imagine his cells and neurons communicating to one another.

It's been about three and a half months since Nick's and my life took a radical turn. And things are indeed different, as I reflect on the past year. I believe Isaiah was conceived during this past week and, if you believe that life begins the moment of conception, Isaiah is technically a year old already. He friggin looks like a toddler anyway, so that feels appropriate to write.

When he's fussy or won't stop making noises, sometimes I pick him up and go outside and show him all the signs of new life in the world. The tulips springing out from the ground in our back yard, the tiny budding flowers, and the tips of green beginning to open themselves into leaves on the trees. Isaiah's fascinated by the color and the wind on his face and I start laughing to myself when I look at him look at spring. For me, Isaiah's the ultimate sign of new life and here he is, grazing the new spring grass with his chubby foot.

The gorgeous weather has also permitted us to go for long walks together and that has made ALL the difference during the day. No more being cooped inside the house, no more praying for the snow to stop trapping us indoors. I feel free! Boundless! And I'm enjoying it while I can because I know in a handful of weeks, my allergies will bound me to the house once more and I will be unable to take meds because of nursing Isaiah. This will definitely be interesting. I'm going to look like a bloated, congested goat.

Isaiah's life keeps changing our world and the worrying, planning, and mild anxiety doesn't seem to stop. Ironically, accompanying all of this is a deep serenity that I was not prepared to find in parenting. Sometimes, when it's just me and Isaiah, and I'm singing him to sleep, I kiss him on the top of his head and can feel the soft spot. A physically vulnerable place on his body revealing his pure youth - his skull is still fusing together, his brain is still growing. And in this place where I rest my mouth, I can feel his heartbeat. His heartbeat. I can feel his actual heartbeat at the top of his head. Something about that often makes me cry. In so many ways, Isaiah is this utterly dependent little thing of a human who can only wiggle around, half roll on a couch, and yelp for his needs. And yet he is his own person. He's a completely separate human being from me and Nick, a person who will grow into his own, and experience his own choices and trials, failures and triumphs. He has his own heart. He doesn't need mine or Nick's.

That realization startled me. Isaiah is his own person.

Somewhere in the future I see myself struggling to let him go. Whether that's his first day at kindergarten, his first boy/girl party, his driver's license, or college decision, I don't know. I can't fathom how this little miracle is someday going to leave us and show us his own heart's identity.

For now, I'm just enjoying those moments of realization and relishing in all the little epiphanies he brings me on a daily basis. For now, that is more than enough.

Isaiah is a gift that is endlessly unwrapping.

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