Sometimes I think being the parent of a toddler and an infant is not unlike dealing with a mixture of glycerol and nitric acid, which is to say: DEADLY. Someone is always crying, someone is always pooping, and the combined force of their whining has the power to detonate an adult’s temporal lobe at fifty paces.

Other times I see it from a different angle, and instead of all the wrong notes being struck at once I get this sense of a phenomenally rich chord humming away, pitches and durations that pour into every last corner and crack. The little boy often squirms away from my hugs but the baby accepts them with openmouthed wriggling joy. The baby can’t talk to me but the little boy carries out lengthy conversations and surprises me every day with what he knows. The little boy gets mysterious and has Moods, the baby is a wide-open storm of emotions, no subterfuge yet on his horizon. The baby must be eased carefully into sleep, the little boy wants the light left on so he can page through books while curled in his bed. The little boy leans against my leg and tells me he loves me, the baby claps and squeals and burrows his face into the crook of my neck.

If it sometimes feels as though one and one does not equal two, and that I am flailing under the weight of responsibilities and inconveniences and various pains in my ass, it is also — and more often — true that the joy and amazement brought into our lives by having one child has more than doubled. There are so many good things, so much of the time, and it is multifarious, an impossibly, deliciously-balanced landscape.

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Comments

54 Responses to “Grateful”

  1. Jennifer on December 10th, 2008 12:29 pm

    ahhh.. I just love to nuzzle the back of baby’s fuzzy little necks.. So sweet. I have two boys and they are 15 and 19 now, oh how I miss them as “little” boys…

  2. susan on December 10th, 2008 12:42 pm

    you have (again) been able to write exactly what I would if I could!

  3. Jane on December 11th, 2008 2:51 pm

    Thanks Linda! Couldn’t agree more as a parent of a 2 1/2 year old and 9 month old. Beautiful (and honestly, such a necessary reminder!)

  4. danielle-lee on January 8th, 2009 12:22 pm

    I love that picture. It is just precious!
    So glad to hear you speaking so honestly about life with two kiddos. I’m trying for #2 this year, and am a bit scared.

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