Jack turned six months old yesterday. I can hardly believe it.
This little human -- the one I grew, and then birthed, and then spent several months holding and walking around in circles trying to calm his righteously infuriated, colicky self down -- he's been here for half a year.
The thing is, six months is a long time. Paradoxically, it's a tiny blip too. No one said this baby- and motherhood gig made sense.
I can't really remember life without him. Like, at all. I have a vague scattering of snapshot in my mind -- our trip to Fort Lauderdale, the weddings we've attended, that one time we got married, our honeymoon, bringing our doggies home, buying our first house -- but I have no recollection whatsoever of the logistics of a childfree life.
Of waking up and not instantly prepping a bottle.
Of deciding to go to the mall, or the game, or anywhere at all... and not taking an hour to prepare the bottles, the diaper bag, the extra clothes. To think about the nap schedule and the feeding times. To decide whether lugging around 45 extra pounds of baby and gear is really worth it (I wish I was joking, but that is how much he and his assorted necessities weigh).
Of not worrying about 200,000 things. His sleep. His gums. Whether or not I should give him ibuprofen again, because by God, this boy pitches a fit when he's uncomfortable. By the way, does his skin seem dry? The worries about physical stuff are neverending.
But there are things I don't worry about one whit now. His happiness and my mothering, namely.
He is a very happy baby -- joyful, really. I worried about this so much when he was a newborn, crying and/or screaming probably 8 hours every day. I didn't even want to admit how miserable things were, on the blog or to anyone other than Kyle. I wept in the shower every single day for probably three months, because he cried so much and no one could tell me how to make it better. But after we switched him to that blessed $30-per-can hypoallergenic formula, it was like the heavens opened up. He laughs, he plays, he snuggles, he coos. So this is what bonding with and loving on your baby is supposed to feel like. It is pure and simple bliss.
And motherhood is just about the most wonderful thing in the world. Just like Gilbert said to Anne, "God knew what he was about when he made you mothers." In spite of the colic, in spite of the (still almost constant) exhaustion, in spite of that time every evening when he's fighting sleep and I'm so, so done... I've never felt happier or more fulfilled. I've never felt more confident. I love being a mom. I love being his mom.
I would be back to feeling like I did right after delivery -- gosh, Kyle, let's have nine more babies! -- except that I had this funny notion before Jack arrived, something along the lines of "babies are only as expensive as you make them," and it's only after I had one that was colicky (gas drops, gripe water, Woombie, Windi, and then, finally, Alimentum) and one who started out as a stringbean newborn and then put on ten pounds in two months (approximately half of his tiniest baby clothes were never worn) that I realized -- babies are expensive. Like, extremely.
These devilish, darling, pricey, priceless, exhausting, exhilerating little slices of heaven. Maybe not nine more. But maybe two or three or four.
And it all started with little Lord Jack. Happy half birthday, baby. My point-fiver. You are the absolute light of Daddy's and my life.