I hate to get all sentimental about it, but 2009 was a big year for me. Half of it was spent anticipating my first baby’s arrival and the other half learning what to do with him once he got here. Last New Years Eve I was at Bimbo’s swing dancing with my man and wishing I could partake in the champagne toast and this New Years I’ll probably be in bed by 10 pm praying that the fireworks don’t wake up my Little Man.
I am so grateful to be past the newborn stage. At six months, he is delightful – alert, curious, interactive, a roly-poly guy on the go – but there are things I already miss about his early months. Though at times if felt like I was inching through a heavy fog with only a dim light to reveal the next few feet in front of me, there was something so special and set apart about the beginning of his life from anything else I’ve experienced.
Time seemed to stop when he was born. In “A Circle of Quiet“, Madeleine L’Engle talks about the two words in the Greek language for time, “chronos” and “kairos”. When I went into labor, chronological time stopped and when they placed him on my chest, kairos started, that immeasurable kind of time that children get into when they’re deeply engrossed in play or how I get when I’m painting. Hours fly by like minutes. L’Engle says “in kairos, we are, we are fully in isness.”
Those first days and weeks when my husband and I were home together with this new, magical little being and we’d sit and stare in awe, the world ceased to exist, we were in kairos and we just were. And no one expected anything else of us. There will never be such a time again. Once we returned to work and the demands of regular life, we were thrust back into unrelenting chronos, always struggling to keep up.
Great things came with the passing of time, too, like longer stretches of sleep, glorious giggles, and the incredible joy of our baby’s recognition that we are his biggest fans and he ours. So, as I find myself looking forward to the changes to come in 2010 – his first steps, words, etc., – I know I will look back and miss some things about him at six months. Like taking naps together, with him on my chest. I remember when his tiny body could fit curled up between by breastbone and my bellybutton, and now already his head rests on my shoulder and his feet are on my thighs. These naps will be over soon and I will miss them.
I’ll miss his impossibly soft skin and how he likes me to run my fingers over his smooth cheeks and chin and forehead as he’s drifting off to sleep. I’ll miss the chubby rolls of his thighs and neck and especially the ones on his wrists that seem tied off like a balloon making his forearms plump up like Popeye’s. Surprisingly, I’ll miss breastfeeding. That was something I didn’t know I would enjoy so much; it always seemed so foreign and animal to me. Now it is my favorite time with him. Curled up against me, my body nourishing his, we are in kairos. There is nothing else but us, and nowhere else I’d rather be.
Happy New Year! May you have many moments of kairos in 2010 just enjoying your isness wherever you are.