Falling in Love All Over Again


Life sometimes seems surreal when you are a parent. Just when you are done navigating the sea that is eating, (not) sleeping and pooping you are thrown in without notice into potty training, preschool selection and sippy cups. The phases change so fast you often miss things and find yourself falling in love with your kids. All over again.

You remember when it first happened. Their creased skin, monkey toes and little grunts. You first fell in love with a little being that you couldn’t even yet imagine as a walking, talking, thinking being. You first fell in love with a sleepy smile, bright eyes, cooing trills and the way they would nuzzle, so deeply, into your chest to sleep.

Falling in love with a newborn baby is one of the easiest things to do in life. A fuzzy head, little pouty lips, long fingers balled up in fists at their lips. Breaths and sighs and piggy snorts. The first kiss, the first hug, the first I love you. At every new turn, you find another new part of them to love.

Confession: Even with this painfully nostalgic baby talk, I think I’m done having kids. I don’t get flutters in my belly when I see a baby. I don’t have a name picked out that will never be. I have gotten rid of every burp cloth, bottle nipple and receiving blanket with no second thought. I won’t smell the new baby smell of a Gallagher baby. I won’t touch little fingers and toes. I won’t sleep with a person perfectly snuggled on my chest on the couch. I won’t change those little newborn size diapers where you can’t even really tell if they’re wet or dry. I won’t sway in the dark at 3 am in the nursery. Ever again.

We’re out of baby zone, out of the formula and diaper car payment equivalent. We’re the parents of toddlers. Mobile, loud, boisterous, destructive toddlers.

And, even though I have been in this place for months now, I haven’t really stopped and smelled the roses. I’ve been so worried about the beginning of one phase and the end of the other that I haven’t stopped and said, “Hey– hey you, kid. What’s the coolest thing you do these days?”

Because apparently, I was waiting for Spring break to figure it all out.

Tonight, Parker marched into the living room, very concerned, and asked his father one question. “Daddy, does Celia have boobies and nipples?” I looked at my husband and saw him casually assure Parker that yes, Celia had nipples, would someday have boobies and that all girls had them. We double checked that he hadn’t gotten onto some unfortunate videos on you tube, but, no, he was just that curious.

Today, spot in the middle of a time out meltdown, Parker shouted, “Mommy, your pajama pants match my PLAY-DOH!”

And yesterday, twice, on the way home from his Nana’s he said, “We had a great time at Nana’s, right?” We had the most wonderful visit with my mother and even a three year old could tell that the family was on a holiday-high.

My little boy is turning into a person who is connecting his world in a multitude of ways. I can’t even keep up with the ways his spider web of thoughts intertwine. But still, he reveals his innocence, his purity and his perfect little outlook on the world every day. “Thanks, we had a great time!” He exclaimed to the desk attendant as we left the zoo on Easter Sunday. Just a little person in a checkered hat having a great time at the zoo.

And little Celia. Time alone with her has become so special. She putters around when it’s just her and I– plays independently and really delights in being on her own. She assembles wonderful play costumes, constantly babbles to herself and occasionally sings her favorite song, “Highway” from Cars. She has become my best friend. We cuddle together in the morning and after nap. She listens to every directive I give (I realize this phase will be very brief) and loves to cuddle. Tonight we ran errands together and it was the most enjoyable little Mommy/daughter shopping trip ever (One of many to come? Yay!). She’s just–so—cool.

And I realized as I was going through my array of photos taken today that: Wow, not working means I get to find all these little peccadilloes about my little man and little lady.

And, as I put them to bed, not nearly as tired and tattered and harried as usual, I said to Parker, “You’re my best boy, you know that?”

“Yes, Mommy, and you’re my best guhhhl.”

And it’s only Monday:)


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