Moments in time: a love letter

Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Love and partners!

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month we’re writing about how a co-parent has or has not supported us in our dedication to natural parenting. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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Moments in time: a love letter

I am not blessed with a partner who supports my parenting, but blessed by watching him parent you. These are some of the moments I have been witness to:

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We are in separate states, murmuring those words of endearment and infatuation so long familiar but with new depth now, new breadth as my belly expands, as the baby inside me grows. I hold the phone low on the lump that my torso has become, as he speaks from hundreds of miles away, over air waves and through the layers of my flesh and the precious sphere of fluid it contains. He speaks words I never hear, words that are not for me, words that the listener’s ear recognize only as that voice — known — love but are so essential to say, to have said; words that pass through me, beloved and welcomed by me, but are not for me. I will always remember these words I never heard, from him to you.

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We have danced together, you and I and he, for hours ephemeral and eternal, and you are almost here, your body in mine and out of mine, in this space between contractions, between bearing down, between born and not. He is behind me, behind us, (but before you as well), and he cradles your head, waiting, all of us waiting. Later he writes:

The first time I touched you only your head was out. I was cupping the back of your head and I felt an ear. It was so amazing.

It was.

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This image I could never forget, if only because I have studied it now so often. You are eighteen hours old, and already asleep on his chest. You will spend so much of the first weeks of your life this way, and it will be a familiar comfort to you for years.

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It is he who suggests the hold that allows us to nurse in comfort at last. This time is ours, this aspect of parenting you for me alone (except a time or two when your need to suckle is greater than my ability to stand it, and he latches you on, you confused, the two of us giggling — but I have the respite I need, you have the comfort you sought, and he and I have a new shared vocabulary for this experience, that we draw on for so many months to come), and he respects that, protects that, and steps up everywhere else to support that: but here, too, he is essential, not extraneous, and his suggestion saves my back, soothes your hunger, and we are content, thanks to him.

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So many more moments I could tell you of, my little love, my child. The times he knew why you fussed when I despaired; the times he walked the halls with you when neither of us knew; the moment when you laughed, laughed for the first time ever and it was for him, because of him; the moment you pushed a book to him to read to you, and all the moments of all the books he read with you in his lap, in his arms, in his heart. Of a million such moments, mundane and miraculous, does a relationship grow. Yours flourishes before my eyes.

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I hear you now, in the bedroom, reading, laughing, talking. I am sitting up to write, as I do almost every night now, because you do not nap and it is my only chance. I can just hear his voice, calm and low and slow, lulling and loving, and sometimes louder to speak over you, to answer your persistent questions. Yours dances over his, bubbly and bright, not willing to yet relinquish consciousness. Bedtimes are your time now, yours and his: my job is to fetch you more books if needed, to hug and to kiss and to slip away quietly, to stay away until I am sure you slumber. He has always been there for you at night, reading to me, walking with you, a warm body to turn toward when you were done with mine.

You are done with mine now, and I cherish the memories from when it was my body, my presence and my breast and my milk, that you needed — but no more than I will cherish the memories I etch in my mind on nights like these, when I steal into bed hours after you both crossed into sleep, and I see you, my family, my hearts, lying together: him with an arm curled above your head, you pressed to his side, stretched out so impossibly long, one leg claiming the space I’ll push you aside to slip into, momentarily. But first I give myself this, this time when I am the intruder on something intimate. I am a part of it, yes, but apart from it as well. You two are two, complete, whole on your own: add me, three, and we are something different, not better, just bigger.

Dear child, know this: I love you with all that I am; I am your mother, from my body were you born — but I am not the only one who loves you completely, unreservedly. You will grow up knowing this, of course, grow up having so many moments in which I am on the outside, and you two are two, together. This will be old news to you, because love is built daily, and he is there for you, loves you in actions and words and presence, every day. But indulge me, and allow me these moments when I see your love and it explodes me, when I write it down so I do not forget.

There is quiet now: my two hearts slumber in another room, while I toil, alone. I would have it no other way; and neither, I think, would you.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated Feb. 9 with all the carnival links, and all links should be active by noon EST. Go to Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama for the most recently updated list.)


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17 Responses to Moments in time: a love letter

  1. Oh, so beautiful! I am blubbering. And I know what you mean- I feel so much joy when I think how my child has a father who loves her so very much. It’s like a gift to me as well as to her, just to witness it.

  2. All right, you got me crying in the coffee shop when I read what you submitted. I wish I’d written this, because seriously, it is so astonishingly beautiful to see my two boys together as one. I love this!

  3. This is beautiful Arwyn. What a gift you have.

  4. This is poetry, dear, sweet, funny, wise Arwyn. <3
    Weeping, sighing, FEEL-ing.

  5. (wiping away tears) Simply beautiful. I am blown away.

  6. So beautiful! Thank you.

  7. I came over from my blog reader to say “beautiful” and apparently I am not the first to think of telling you how precious and beautiful this is. It has inspired me to write a similar letter for my own boy chick and my partner. Not sure if I will post on my blog or not. Perhaps a valentine’s present….

    Thank you. Beautiful.

  8. Everything I wanted to say to you has already been written. Thanks for this.

  9. This is so beautiful, Arwyn. I have tears in my eyes at the sheer beauty of it. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  10. Thank you for sharing, friend. So much of this is familiar and so much of it is what I wish to someday find again.

  11. Beautiful, moving, loving. A treasure.

  12. So eloquent and heartfelt! You have a wonderful partner and Boychick has a wonderful father!

  13. What a special post that speaks from my own heart.

    Thank you.

  14. That was so beautiful. Now I’m all teary. I love babywearing daddies.

  15. Pingback: A Thank You to my Husband « The Adventures of Lactating Girl

  16. Pingback: Natural parenting converts / GROW WITH GRACES

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