Thursday, September 29, 2005


I mentioned yesterday that next week I have two birthdays in my house.  My son will be 12 and my youngest daughter will be 6.  This means that Newt is now the same age her brother was when she was born.  I remember we had Bo’s 6th birthday party about a week after Newt was born.  I remember how tiny she was and it was the first birthday party Bo had to share with his sister.  Since then, he’s shared almost every one of them.  I am sorry for that, but schedules dictate shared parties.

Newt is like watching my sister grow up again.  Newt is feisty and spirited, brave beyond measure and sure of herself.  Every accomplishment is an amazement for her.  She wasn’t always that way.  There was a time that we thought she would be permanently attached to my leg, she was painfully (for me) shy and would grab hold of my leg and hide behind me whenever someone talked to her.  

Now, she braves the world on her own.  She has learned its ok to let go of mom, and mom will still be there.  Now, mom needs to learn it’s ok to let go of Newt and she’ll still be there.  She’s been invited to her first sleepover party this weekend.  It will be her first sleepover without sister and her first sleepover at a friend’s house (as opposed to family’s homes).  She’s making new friends; there are new names in her stories from school every day.  She’s learning to make a life away from mom, from sister, from brother, even if it is for just a few hours every day.  It’s a way of claiming her independence and her identity.  I’m proud that she doesn’t rely on us to define her.  She defines herself.  That’s something that is so important and something I didn’t learn until way later in my life.  I’m so proud that she knows it so well at this young age.  I hope it stays with her.

It makes me so happy and proud to watch her grow up, but it makes me sad too.  I’m still ‘Mommy’ sometimes, but now it’s mostly ‘Mom’.  Although, she does ask me every night, ‘Mommy, have I given you a hug and kiss yet today?  Well, here, just in case I didn’t.’  More mornings than not I get out of the shower and return to my room to find Newt curled up in my bed waiting to snuggle with Mommy for a few minutes.  That is a remnant of our early morning Mommy & Me time.  I breastfed her for the first 6 weeks of her life, but would always feed her before taking her to the sitter every morning.  Before waking Bo and Tate, I would wake Newt and feed her, sitting in a rocking chair in the early morning hours and we would have our ‘Rock-a-baby’ time.  Even after the bottle was gone, we would still rock-a-baby every morning.  The rocking chair is gone now too, but no the special cuddle time every morning.  

I’m sure my ‘Mommy’ days are numbered, I’m soon going to be ‘Mom’ all the time.  I’m not sure how much longer I will be blessed to find Newt curled in my bed every morning.  I hope it’s well into her teenage years.  I hope that she always feels close enough to me to feel she can always cuddle in my bed for some special Mommy & Me time.  I hope we can talk over best friend joys and boyfriend blues in the early morning hours curled up in my bed.  

I love my children very much.  I don’t remember my parents being very vocal or demonstrative about their affection for us when I was growing up. I never doubted their love for us, it just wasn’t demonstrated or vocalized often in our house. I make it a point to hug and kiss the kids every day, and always tell them I love you.  I am no longer their warrior, their defender, I no longer have to fight with their father, and without the stress that caused, I can enjoy being Mom, a real, loving, fun, mom.  I’m not stressed, I’m not angry, I’m not out defending them, I’m not out fighting for them.  I am laughing with them, playing with them, loving them, enjoying the joys of being a parent.

So, Happy Birthday Newt.  I am so proud of you, and I love you, to heaven and back. Twice.


1 comment:

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