I have been feeling a bit melancholy the last few days. I have been doing some research on my Norwegian ancestry. Is a grandfather an ancestor or a relative? I never met my paternal, Norwegian grandfather. I have been to the house where he was born and stood in what I would like to believe is the room he was born in. I have run through the trees on the farm where he lived until he left for America at the age of 17, and where he returned and died at the age of 57. He had lived in America for almost 40 years, married. Had five sons, my father one of them. I know so little about him. His name was Nicolai. His mother died four years after he left Norway. I wonder if she was brokenhearted when he left. Was she relieved to have one fewer person to feed. Did she feel that she would never see him again? She did not.
My children have all grown up. Living under the same roof as I do, or not, they are adults. They are independent. They don't need me in the intense symbiotic way they needed me and I needed them when they were nursing. Once they were weaned, I was still pretty important. I was the main kisser of boo boos. The transportation to the movies or to a friend's or wherever. The sweet little kisses of a baby who called me his "sweetheart" and his "honey-bun". The times when Dad would get them something and there would be a loud protest "I wan Mommy do it" followed by a diaper padded butt drop, and tears.
All the fevers and broken bones and stitches and broken hearts. I got to share in them. That wonderful mystery of growing up. Thank you kids! I Love You So Much!
On Facebook I am constantly reading mother's lamenting the lack of sleep they are getting because of their babies. So, I wrote this:
I read so many parents writing about their exhaustion and wistfulness,
begging their babies to sleep. I know that I am years away from the
last time I had a nursing baby who wouldn't sleep. I know that with my
first baby, I too had bought into the idea that for my husband and I to
have a "life" we had to have time away from the baby. I worked so hard
trying to get her to go to sleep. Instead of relaxing and enjoying
her. I got mad and frustrated. Now I know that I was in a somewhat
unique situation. For 2 years I was home full time with a baby/ toddler
in a country that was communist. There was no expat community and I
couldn't socialize with the local population. So I really was touched
out by the time my husband got home from work. By the time my fifth
baby was a toddler, if I needed to get to bed when he was still up, I
did. I put him near me in a safe place and let him play. He was always
sound asleep in my bed when I woke up in the morning. I occasionally
needed a break from each of my children. But, the word "surrender" got
me through so much. By surrendering to mothering I was able to love my
children easier. I am so glad we nursed and cuddled as much as we did.
Now none of them are here hugging and cuddling because they are all
grown up and moved on. Thank you my babies, toddlers, children and now
wonderful adults. I am so happy to have the memories you each gave me.