on life being over.


Another one of those things that “everybody says” is that when your baby learns to walk, it’s all over.

I am sure it will surprise no one to find out that I find this a gross oversimplification. For one thing, if it’s “over” when your baby can get into things, then we were out of luck the minute Atticus learned to crawl. And while Atticus was happy to be able to scoot around, crawling frustrated him to no end. He wanted to be walking with the rest of us. His body buzzed with pent-up energy that he could not exhaust no matter how many times we held his hands and walked him around the house. He woke every two or three hours at night, unable to calm his body down enough to sleep for long periods. I frequently battle insomnia and recognized his distress. Sometimes my mind won’t stop racing. Sometimes my body will not stop humming. Sometimes it makes me want to cry into the dark.

Now that he can walk, he is so much happier. He doesn’t beat on things or seem as uncomfortable in his own skin. Even though he’s teething, his sleep has been better. He walks, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. He circles the house, finally able to breathe in his surroundings. He goes where he wants instead of depending on us. The biggest surprise of all is that he is more content to sit on my lap, to give me hugs, and to let me hold him. He will lie on the floor and play with his toys and babble to himself. The peace that radiates from him is a joy to observe.

We have ourselves a wild, independent little boy. People often express pity when they see how all over the place he is. I know that this pity often comes from moms who are, themselves, overwhelmed by their active children, but those are conversations in which I prefer not to participate. While I sometimes feel overwhelmed by Atticus’s energy, I reject the idea that anyone should feel sorry for me because of who my child is. I don’t want to talk about him as if my life is over now that he’s here.

While I do, at times, wonder why we didn’t get ourselves a calm, quiet, lap-sitting baby, I know that we invited another person into our house, our lives, our family. Instead of expecting him to conform to my ideals, I try to get to know him for who he is. Together, we are learning to walk, and it is far from over.

sacked out

Bonus picture from one of those nights when he couldn’t stay asleep. I stayed up with him from 4-6 and then Mike took over so I could sleep. Atticus passed out on the floor around 6:45. I think this picture speaks for itself.

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