Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Being Able to Jump

Grasping at the last bite of pancake, he pressed it between his fingers and tossed it behind him.

"I'm so sorry," I repeated to the couple sitting behind us. The man reminded me of Norman Mailer, but happier. He smiled, shrugged and said, "He's got a great arm!" Love this man.

Clearly J was done. I had spent what seemed like seconds eating my own meal while simultaneously grabbing straws from his pudgy little hands before he poked his eye out (I am becoming a mother, aren't I?), picked up soggy Cheerios and the mushy pancake strewn all over the table, apologized to our breakfast companions (they sorta asked for it since I told them I was perfectly fine eating alone with J, but they insisted) for the sneeze that no doubt christened their food with bits of milk and syrup, and trying desperately to keep J from styling his hair with maple gook.

I was exhausted. And that was just the eating, which was only half the fun. Getting out of the restaurant was an adventure, which is an understatement. With my hands gripping a jacket, purse, diaper bag, the bill, the tip, my little Crusoe decided to take off. Running, screaming (I swear there was a mocking "ha, ha, you can't catch me" undertone) he befriended every restaurant patron who would even dare glance his way. My little charmer. Me, smile, apologize, smile, apologize. There were a few times when I nearly had him in my grasp, but he was fueled by the laughter and "Oh, isn't he cute" comments that filtered through the air making his escape was inevitable.

He was performing.

And loving every moment of it.

Even though my little celebubaby showed his complete and utter dissatisfaction as I hoisted him on my hip and made my way quickly to the exit (being caught between two exiting customers gave me my chance), I felt a very weak sense of satisfaction.

Because I will admit. As much as I never want to be the mother with the out-of-control toddler, the one that causes chaos and distress to others (in other words, the toddler that draws often unreasonable ire from others and forces the mama to bear her claws), I love being the mother of a toddler who can't help but be happy. Who can't help but relish in the joy and attention of others.

Maybe because I have never been that way. Maybe because my "thriving in anonymity" philosophy is so challenged by his "HEY! Look at me!" personality. He commands attention without seeming to need it. It is so effortless. Stepping out behind him, I sometimes have to take a deep breath . . . and just jump. He makes me feel like there is nothing in the world better than just jumping.

I'd like to think that I have a realistic view of my little guy. That I don't think he's a perfect little genius, a prodigy who is extraordinary in every little way.

But I do think he is extraordinary. He is my perfect fit. I most definitely was nothing more than a bunch of mix-matched puzzle pieces sitting in the clearance rack before he came along.

Before him, before the mushy pancake, the constant chaos and the overwhelming exhaustion, I was OK. But now, I guess I just feel like I make sense. And being able to jump . . . well, that's an added bonus.

33 comments:

LceeL said...

The one thing about kids is they will teach you more about yourself than you ever knew was in there.

flutter said...

This made my heart happy

krissy said...

What a sweet story. I love the innocence. Love it.

Stay warm. I'm with ya...bring on the Global Warming anytime. Dang it.

Mr Lady said...

There's a BIG difference between the out of control kid and the jubilant one. Jubilance makes everyone smile.

Robyn said...

Well said. Before I had my son (who for many years I was NOT going to have), I never really felt like I was born to do something (anything) or destined for anything in particular. A few months after Josh was born, I suddenly realized that I was destined to be his mom. And there's something so satisfying in finally finding your true mission.

Just stumbled on your blog, and I'll be back.

Are You Serious! said...

♥ I would have been smiling and saying how cute with everyone else too! :)

DysFUNctional Mom said...

A happy baby puts a smile on almost everyone's face. Since our kids are bigger, hubby and I LOVE to see a baby when we go out and watch them have fun and just be a baby.
I love that feeling of being right where you're supposed to be in life, too.

Threeboys1mommy said...

Ohh the anxiety of eating out... wait until he's booster chair ready and decides to use the boost to chat up the booth next door. AWESOME!

Flea said...

It's so good to see someone enjoying motherhood so thoroughly. :)

ConverseMomma said...

Oh, just you wait until our baby boys get together. My son is a grab life by the balls sorta kid, complete with two hands filled with tools that he will use to unscrew every bolt on every piece of furniture in the room. That is, if Momma isn't looking. Exhausting, but I would not have it any other way.
Love ya!

Trannyhead said...

He and Sumo really are alike. Except at the restaurant I totally give him the straws so that he'll have something to fidget with in his high chair. (As an aside - he's way too big for high chairs, now, and I have no clue what I'm going to do about that.) And then he usually shoves it really far down his throat and gags. Which is always a hawt addition to any meal. (Thankfully, he doesn't actually barf, but the gagging is also unpleasant.)

Kim said...

Your writing is so refreshing. I love the message in the story. Beautiful.

Cat said...

Wonderfully positive and uplifiting post today - thank you - i needed to be reiminded!

Tracey said...

Awwwww!! Sweet. And if your own mom doesn't think you're a perfect lil prodigy, who will??

justmylife said...

There is nothing like a happy child to force a mom out in public. I always have liked being in the background, rarely heard or seen, and the first 2 kids were happy to let me stay there. Not this one, no, she forces me to stand out front and draw all the attention as she waves at all of her "fans". Never feel bad that your child is so happy, happy children make people smile, even when they are being completely rotten according to their mom. heh!! Enjoy him.

Midwest Mom said...

When my boys used to get wild and crazy in public, there would always be one older gentleman that would look at one of them with a smile and say, "He's all boy!"

I love that phrase, and it makes me appreciate that all the silliness and spunk my children have (particularly when they're making my attempts at orderly behavior completely irrelevant) are really something to be treasured.

I'm glad you've found that in your own little guy.

Happy Motherhood. -MM

Colleen said...

and oh-so-familiar story. :) In an attempt to eat, I have given my children sugar packets, straws, empty creamers, and spoons (cuz the toys I've provided are never cool enough). Your visit with your happy J sounds much better than the visit I had at IHOP with an angry Cooper (normally he's much happier--I was just dumb and brought the wrong cup for him to drink from). I always giggle at other parent's runaway toddlers. ;)

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

You're meeting him where he is. Awesome.

tommie said...

What a sweet story! I can totally see everything you wrote. In fact, I am sure I lived this scene more than once.

Zoeyjane said...

I SO get this. Isobel is both exactly me as a child, and exactly not. I remember shyness and bookishness and being afraid to talk to people - not the times when I was apparently a social butterfly. She? Can't NOT flirt, run, jump and attack people with her zeal. Makes me feel like I've done something right that she's still that kid, when I changed so early on.

Tara R. said...

J sounds absolutely precious. I'm sure everyone around him is happier just watching him be so joyous.

CC said...

He so keeps you on your toes!

Love the description of his throw and subsequent flight. ;)

Kami said...

A post! A post!

Yup, that's just the way it is with kids, you gotta jump or fall. At least if you jump, you are in control.

Sort of.

Oh who am I kidding, the kids are the ones in control. We are just along for the roller coaster ride!

TheCynicalOptimist said...

First of all, great philosophy! I will have to remind myself of it the next time my 3-year old throws her sausage link at the patron next to us and says "I wanted bacon!"

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

I love that you see how he's so much more extroverted than you are. I feel the same way. Mine is just like that. He gets upset when he introduces himself and people don't acknowledge it. But, the thing is, I would NEVER do that.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It is wonderful to have such a great fit between mother and child.

Hyphen Mama said...

You word this so perfectly. Do I always tell you that? I know I always think that when I read your posts.

I remember who I was before having kids, and I wouldn't go back for all the sticky pancake syrup in the world.

Anonymous said...

"thriving in anonymity"--you put it perfectly. That is so me.

I really enjoy how you blend humor with heartfelt. You definitely have a knack for it. I've been reading you for awhile (so many favorites) and I think I'll be commenting more often.

I sent you an e-mail about my blog (it is a private family blog).

Best-LRJ

Lea said...

You brought a ton of memories back to me.. wow. I'm one that doesn't like to draw attention to myself, just leave me alone type of person (well, I do like karaoke though, so that brings some attention to me, but I pretty much shrug it off and retreat back to my corner of the bar hoping no one comes to talk to me)I'm not really sure why I am like this, very antisocial..

But when my kids were little. Awe, I had to be social, they stoled the show and many, too many people gave me wonderful comments about them. They still steal the show, but I'm not so much involved now as they are people unto themselves and not little laughing toddlers sucking all the air out of where ever they are because they were simply breathtaking, even when it was as simple as just being in the same room with them.

They were incredible little ones and have become incredible people, ones I can be proud of 99.9% of the time...

But thank you. Thank you for reminding me, that they WERE breathtaking, incredibly awesome little people at one time and for reminding me that they are now breathtaking incredibly awesome people of themselves. I don't know why I forgot either of those things, but it feels great to remember them.

Thank you.

abby p said...

I'm LOVING what Lea wrote.

Awesome.

you know your love story with J is totally epic, right?

Huckdoll said...

There is NOTHING in this world better than a child bringing out a smile by just being him/herself. My twins bring out smiles in the most miserable looking people and I can't help but smile myself. It's like this massive chain reaction and i wouldn't have it any other way. Beautiful post, btw :)

Kat said...

Girl, you have such a way with words. This is really beautiful. :)

Cheap Flights to Bogota said...

People aren't just paying more to fill their gas tanks or when they pay for their heating bills for their home; they are paying more at the grocery store, on air travel and for many other daily expenses.

Flights to Bogota

Recent Posts

There was an error in this gadget

Photo of the Week

Photo of the Week
Two Peas

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP