So, ya know it’s been a rough day for me when I eat fast food (Chik-Fil-A to be exact), shovel down 2 hot, sugary Krispy Kreme donuts, and send Jason into Trader Joe’s for a bottle of red wine. You know it’s been really rough when Jason returns from Trader Joe’s with THREE bottles of wine and a big, honkin’ bar of Dark Chocolate for me. Yep, after samping all three wines, I am savoring the last of them – a rich and tangy Merlot.
Kaia’s morning started off peachy, as she got to spend her happy morning time with Jason while I caught up on some sleep. During this time, I drifted off into dreams about Kaia (and Julia Roberts, but that’s not even relative). In my dream, an approximately 1 year old Kaia sat down with me, her child-size hands gripping two ballpoint pens. She put the pens to paper and began to draw circles with each hand, simultaneously. Her speed increased, as the circles became inked spirals. I watched in amazement at this newly aquired skill of hers and proceeded to show her how to draw a smiley face with spectacles. She blinked slowly and studied closely as she watched the cartoon face appear on the paper. With ease and grace, she copied and added a face and glasses to her circles as well. I remember feeling utter awe at how “smart” my little girl was! My could feel my heart glowing a soft amber color.
I was awaken by Jason, bringing a cozy Kaia to sleep with me. I immediately relayed the dream to him and he smiled. I had been feeling a bit anxious the past few days about the thought of Kaia growing up so fast. She already “feels” different in my arms – heavier and sturdier. She now gazes around the room, turning her head, grasping close objects, and taking in the world through wide eyes. I cannot believe five weeks have passed. As I stare at her, an occurance more frequent than you can imagine, thoughts of her starting kindergarten, turning 16, falling in love, and bearing her own children race thorugh my head. Again, I am faced with my own mortality as well…and at times, I am scared. But this dream did wonders for me. Suddenly, I became excited about the thought of partaking in Kaia’s sweet milestones. I became aware that each stage of a child’s life is just as grand as the last and holds potential for unbearable joy. It sounds trite, but in a matter of minutes waking from that dream, I was calmed by surrending to the cycle of life and the bittersweet role of parenthood.
I am sure I will have many more an anxious thought. I don’t dare pretend to understand each and every moment in the life of a parent. Yet, I marvel at how something as simple as a fleeting dream can exist to ease our worries. I spent the rest of the morning spoiling Kaia with close hugs – so close I almost sucked her into my chest and encased her in my heart. Jason worked up in the kitchen at school, so I was alone with her.
After I returned from lunch with Kaia, things began to get tough. She started a 2 hour cycle that wouldn’t end until now (OK, 15 minute ago) in which she would eat, cry, cry, cry, sleep for 20 minutes, wake up and cry, cry, cry and eat. Weary and worn, I handed our equally weary and worn daughter to Jason as soon as he got back from his evening kitchen duty around 6 pm. It was then that I decided I needed Chik-Fil-A. There was a dual purpose in mind for this trip to fast food – not only would I satisify a pitiful craving but I hoped that the car ride would lull Kaia into a much needed nap. As we drove, she interjected very short dozes with crying fits. We drove around through the parking lots, intentionally seeking out speed bumps, in desperation. While Jason shopped for wine, I nursed her in the car and held her in my arms as she feel into a milk-intoxicated slumber. More wailing on the way home until she finally passsed out nursing on my other side at home.
It’s days like these where I feel helpless…Very little worked to calm Kaia and, while she crunched her little eyes up during her crying spells, I told her how much I loved her and how I wished I could make it all better. I tried walking, bouncing, quietly holding her to my chest, binky in, binky out, swing, vibrating seat, over the shoulder, sitting up, laying down, outside air, wrapped in a blanket, diaper change, stripped naked, singing lullabies, and reading books…Jason tried the same. The only sure fire way to achieve mutual happiness is when Kaia nurses, but goodness knows that I can’t possibly live with her connected to my breast! It’s not the exaustion or her crying that makes these days so difficult. It’s seeing my daughter upset and knowing there is so little I can do…I guess it’s true that sometimes the most you can offer is love…(OK, and the boob). And, I guess it’s true that “all you need is love” anyways…
If so, she is one VERY loved little child…