Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dear Eddy, 7 months

Ok, Baby Boy, I am about to tell you something that you may never understand - because you are a boy and because you will never be a mom - but this thing I'm about to tell you warrants a sliver of cyberspace.

You are teething. I am breastfeeding.

See? You don't quite get it, do you?

When signs of the impending first tooth started showing - drooly, crabby, everything-in-the-mouth-y - I would almost-brag as I like to do - 95th percentile, you know. AND I think he's about to cut his first tooth! 

A few moms gave me wary smiles. My friend asked, "Has he bitten you yet? Oh just you wait. It will scare both of you."

So the little tooth finally made its debut. And every once in a while I would feel it graze me and I would think, "Aw my sweet boy. He's so gentle." That one tooth quickly got a partner and that's when things got real.

Breastfeeding has always been my favorite time with you, my favorite thing about motherhood. It is so sweet, so intimate. I love nourishing you and knowing that you are thriving for it. But just like that, my favorite time became painful, sometimes excruciating.

Just like the rest of you, your teeth have grown like weeds. But, you know, like those really gnarly weeds that you have to wear gloves to pull. You had 2 teeth when we left for Colorado and by our flight home you had 4, working on 5.

Oh - and yes, you have bitten me. More times that I can or would care to count. Sometimes I would shout which would startle you and other times I would just push on, tears welling in my eyes. And, man was I cursing these dang teeth. I offered to buy you baby dentures (surely a thing, right?) but you demanded that you keep growing up.

And then it occurred to me that as much as this hurt me, the sharp pain was but a fleeting moment and you were probably enduring constant pain. Pushing jagged bone through your gums sounds awful.

I think this is just the beginning, too. Of the you hurt, I hurt pattern, I mean. Remember, I grew up with two little brothers, your Uncle Cory and Uncle Matt. I know that bookshelves look a heck of a lot like ladders and that the toy at the top is always the most desirable. I know that falling off the top of the swing set would've been so cool if it weren't for that pesky, hard ground. I predict many tears, bumps and bruises, scrapes and gashes. I will kiss you and put a bandage over it and say "I'm sorry". But the lesson has been learned. I hurt when you hurt, just like I laugh when you laugh. Your pain is my pain, your joy is my joy, your happiness is my happiness. You did come from me, after all. It only seems natural.

While some pain is unavoidable, like teeth-growing, other pain is not. So as you climb to the top of your friend's roof to attempt an Olympic dive into the pool, as you attempt a back-tire wheelie to impress the older girl down the street, and as you try to out-wow that cool kid on his skateboard, please think of your old mom. I am patient and I am understanding and I get the need to dare the devil. But my heart can only take so much. If you could somehow pace those endeavors slowly that would be great.

I forgive you for those mighty little bites. And for future failed feats.

My sweet, gentle piranha. I love ya.


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You look really pretty today.

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