The ups and downs of ones life take shape on a daily, monthly and yearly basis like the rise and fall of a chest with breath. The up is really no better than the down except that it might feel more enjoyable in the moment. Really all the mountains and all the valleys are equally significant to a full, ever expanding and miraculous life. Like most, change is difficult to me. I used to be the little girl that would cry at night in her bed because I didn't want to grow up, I didn't want childhood to not be mine anymore. I still cry about growing up. And can so easily romanticize the past to death, especially as I notice my body changing, my capacity to stay up late dwindle, and motherhood alter my independence. Change is so necessary though (and inevitable), movement that adds challenge, exploration, discovery and beauty to our lives. How dull it would be to have everything stagnant. To have a body that never changed. To eat the same foods day in and day out. To live in the same house, do the same job and have the same routines until the end of your life. To not be able to experience all the stages of raising a child.
I have to remind myself of this last statement often these days. The growth in Sam has brought greater connection, as his comprehension has blossomed and his attunement to the world has awakened. Like a little flower bud, he has unfolded to the light of this big world. And with growth, comes challenge. With awareness comes a greater sense of personal want, of the ability to express (in cries) what is desired. No longer go with the flow and whatever mom and dad wants. Alive to the world is a little man that knows what he wants, likes his own routines, and is developing preferences.
It is hard not to pigeonhole this stage of development, see the immediate frustrations as so big that they block out the bigger picture of why we are even raising a child. Why are we raising a child? I have asked myself this, usually in the moments when I am mourning my past childless life. Why did we choose to bring a child into this world? And then there are moments that explode my heart open, that take my momentary wonder and love and happiness to another degree never thought possible before Sam. His smile, his personality, his laugh, his Samness, even his cries which signify his desires, which means he has a voice. I chose to have a child because it is the greatest creative act ever. I chose to have a child because I get to relive childhood in a way, get to experience all the fun of splashing in mud puddles, reading the same book over and over again, and getting messy with fingerpaint.