I am guilty of not savoring it all with Benjamin. I spent the majority of his babyhood being terrified something would happen to him. The other half was spent trying to speed things up to what Andrew would've been like and things he would've been doing. Not intentionally, but grief does that sort of thing. I was eager to get him out of his bucket seat and into a convertible carseat. I was eager for him to eat table food. I was eager to be done with breastfeeding and eager for him to crawl and walk and be independent because those were all things I knew Andrew would've well mastered by then.
It's not that I wanted Benjamin to be Andrew (though thankful I was able to experience another boy at all), it's just that my mind never fully reset the idea of not having a child who should be three-and-a-half-years old now. I just always internally expected to be a part of that other group of moms who I see at the parks with their preschoolers now and have full conversations about what they are making for dinner and what they learned in school that day. I think it's finally starting to settle and we're seeing Benjamin as a two-year old who is amazing and learning and saying new things everyday. The person he is.
Just today I asked him if he wanted to go to the playhouse after dropping Dad's car at the shop and he said, "Yes I do." He speaks so well now. He also told his Dad the other day when asked if he wanted to potty-train yet, "No Daddy, No(t) yet."
I feel saddened that I wanted so badly to speed things up and be ahead where we belonged with Andrew. I feel like I missed some of the wonder and excitement. Just last night we were looking back at old pictures and videos from Benjamin's first year in Elliot's phone. I was absolutely amazed that he looked the way he did in some photos. Yes, I remember. It wasn't all that long ago, but time is a thief. Well, so is grief. It robs you of so much if you're not careful to take it all in. And even then, it's easy to forget with the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Claire is giving us another shot at this babyhood business. And it's awesome. Well, the 2:30 a.m. wakeup call this morning and the 4:30 one and the 5:45 one and the 7:15 one... well those aren't wonderful. But to have the chance to see her beautiful face and to know she is all ours and needs us? It's beyond the most glorious thing we've ever experienced. I just wish we weren't so terrified with Benjamin and confused in our grief timeline that we let some of that slip right through our fingers like quicksand.
She can stay in that bucket seat a little while longer.