I had to pull out a box of bigger clothes for Rocco this weekend. That was always hard to do when Vincenzo was growing, too, but it’s doubly hard now. With Vincenzo, the boxes were full of clothes from friends and relatives, but they were new to me. With Rocco, the boxes are full of his brother’s clothes. The star-spangled swimming speedo that everyone always laughed at; the lizard onesie he wore at his first birthday, the year he nearly ate a salamander tail; the PJ’s with the word “Bob” on them from when Vincenzo called everyone and everything “Bob.” When I change Rocco’s wardrobe out I’m not only sentimental about my baby getting bigger, but I’m really missing that other baby I used to have. He’s four and a half. In mom years, that translates roughly to “a different lifetime.”
How could this sweet, calm, peaceful baby Vincenzo…
also be this loud, shooty, running, yelling thing?
Sometimes it feels like someone hit me on the head with a board the day Vincenzo took his first step and I just came to today, and I’m very confused as to why my baby is no longer squishy-soft. And I’m confused about why he keeps shooting me.*
Looking through the clothes reminds me that there really were all the months in between, and all the weeks and all the days too. I know I’m talking about just a year or two back, but it was such a different time of life. I was roping the friends in like a cattle rancher, sealing friendships with play dates and pedicures, mixing new friends with old friends in parties just for kicks. Making my own baby food because have you seen how much it costs in the store? Looking forward to story time at the library, baby group at the hospital, gym class, sing-a-longs at the mall.
It’s a bit different now. I’m tormented when I meet a new mom I like now because frankly, I don’t have room for more play dates or dinner dates. I’m protective of my family time at home now—not seeing anyone but ourselves. I buy baby food because time is worth way more than money these days. I signed Rocco up for baby group and gym classes and resented having those bites taken out of our schedule so I quit.
Still, watching my second baby grow up is just as amazing as watching the first. It’s nature’s little spoonful of sugar. The thrill you feel when your baby reaches a milestone makes you not notice that his thighs aren’t quite as pudgy as they were yesterday. I still wanted to call everyone I knew the first time Rocco sat up and the first time he signed “all done” and the first time he played a silly game with me. I wanted to call everyone. (I just didn’t have the energy to call.)
Life is different now. It’s busier. It’s more complicated. It’s funnier. IT’S DEFINITELY LOUDER. I call myself a crazy lady, and I’m not just talking about my mental problems anymore.
But I am overwhelmed by the joy and love that come with this Thing we casually call Motherhood on a daily basis.
It is overwhelming.
But just exactly how much time do I have before I will be wondering where this newest baby of mine has gone?
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Kalbi marinated flank steak
Salad with sugared pistachios oranges
*On a random note, I’m pretty sure Rocco’s first word is going to be an intense, “Pshooo!” (Vincenzo’s latest shooting sound.)