Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Boys

I can feel it slipping away. And I'm not ready. This season of babies - of carting one or more on my hip. Eliza will be six this Friday. That's all we had. Six years of babies. It was intense, and maybe it sounds long to some, but I can hardly believe we're done.

The boys will be two in June. They are changing, looking older by the day. Strong wills are showing. They are fighting me at nap times, stopping me in my tracks with words they shouldn't be able to say yet.

I want to freeze them right here. These two towheaded brothers.


They understand everything I say. And I understand them. But they still speak jibber-jabber. Cute talking sounds with a smattering of identifiable words. I love it.


I love how they are with each other. They make us laugh. They make each other laugh.

Their little bodies splinter with light and it fills our house.


I smile at Doug as we watch Gordon run - bent forward, his head in front of his torso, arms thrust behind him as he gains speed on our driveway/runway. These boys are moving faster now.

They lock eyes with us at the dinner table, smirk and giggle as we point fingers at each other. The love connection is huge and I cannot stand the thought of them growing up. I want to stall this stage, pause all its wonder and happiness - its absolute purity - until I'm ready to move on. Yes, it's about me. Not them.


I linger over little moments. Like after a diaper change, when I stand them up so they can wrap their arms around my neck. Or when I'm holding one and he turns his face to mine and plants a papery kiss right onto my mouth. Or when I brush the food off their pants after a meal and one at a time pick them up, press their cheek against mine, and spin us into the living room. We stand in front of the mirror and look at the two of us, close. They point at me and say "Mamma."

A few days ago, Spencer cleaned up all the cars and tricycles by rolling them into the garage by himself. Gordon likes to pick scraps of paper off the floor and put them in the garbage can without my asking. Both of them have been trying to put on their own shoes. They are climbing into and onto everything.


I can see how much they are learning - how they are growing, but they're still golden and innocent enough to do what I ask.

A few months ago, Doug took the girls bowling and I had the boys to myself. Unusual circumstances.


I let them play in the tub longer than normal.


We sang "rock a bye baby" as I swaddled them into a warm towel. I rubbed lotion on their arms and legs, plucked their toes while making a popping noise with my lips. It was all so happy, easy, and enjoyable.

We sat on the couch and read their favorite stories. They leaned into me, far enough that I could encircle both of them with my arms and still hold a book. Each time we got to "the quiet old lady who was whispering hush" they would say "Sssss" and place their index finger on their nose.


They pointed to the runaway bunny, found him in the crocus, on the mountains, and in the water. I felt for the mamma bunny - felt like I could say her words. "No matter where you go, I will find you."

Their hair was damp as I turned the bedroom lights low and took turns snuggling them onto my shoulder. Their curls spiraled soft against my cheek. They smelled of baby shampoo and clean pajamas.

Spencer formed his body to mine, pushed his rumpus into the air as I tucked my arms beneath him to make a seat. He knows the puzzle - the nook we both love - that place where his round head fits best. We melded together like warm metals and I clutched at the impermanence of it.

When I held Gordon, he turned his face to mine and I slid his body down so we could see each other. I kissed his forehead and he smiled. He didn't move. And all I could think was how satiny his skin was - how wonderful it felt against my aging face.


My sweet boys. You will never know - not until you have your own - how happy you make your mamma. You are an unmistakable gift.

And if I could hold you longer, I would.


  1. You know...I feel exactly the same way about my 10 year old! I look her and just wish that time would stand still.
    Your boys are absolutely gorgeous...I can totally understand why you would want to keep them just the way they are. (I am know to be very clucky! I tend to grab a baby any chance I get...and luckily at Playcentre (parent co-operative preschool) I get lots of chances!)

    Have you read the book SOMEDAY by Alison McGhee and Peter Reynolds...beautiful! I think you'll love it.

  2. Oh my, this one brought tears to my eyes. My oldest will be 8 in the fall and the Kiddos will be 2 in a few months too. I love that they're growing up but boy is it bittersweet. Thank you for sharing!

  3. what a beautiful post. you capture so well the emotions of motherhood and life in your writing. what a treasure for your children to read in the future. now i have to quit trying to ignore the never ending laundry...

  4. Those sweet tender moments never last long enough. Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts in such a beautiful way.

  5. Cath, your photos capture so well these beautiful little boys. I too am amazed at how much they have grown...right before your eyes. It's lovely for me to see you mother and embracing all of the joy. Your journey is a wonder. xox

    fun to see you thing morning.

  6. Breathtaking! Look at those beautiful, sweet boys! Those words capturing the mama love are so precious. "I clutched at the impermanence of it"...what a way you have with words.

    This post for me couldn't have been timed better. Yesterday, I registered my "babies" for kindergarten and spent a few hours feeling so blue about it. I had no idea how hard it would be to close each chapter of mothering. I don't feel ready for this next step and have just been praying that God will help fill the holes that will begin gaping as I send them off in the fall.

    Your boys' curls are just about the sweetest thing ever.

    Thanks for sharing here.

    This is Anne Marie posting, but for some reason it's coming up as "Anonymous".

  7. They are beautiful Cath, and this post got me all teary. I want to be present with my kids and remember all of those little things, I know it will all be a fuzzy memory soon. Thanks for capturing so many of the same feeling that I have, in such a beautiful way.

  8. Thanks for making me cry, Cath. I feel the same way. I can't stand how fast time is slipping through my fingers.

  9. Darling family. I am a mother of twins as well but they are 11 and nearly taller than I am. Time flies. WOW, having 2 sets is amazing, an amazing blessing really I am sure. Thanks for sharing your story!

  10. Wow. There are tears in my eyes right now. You've perfectly expressed something I've experienced but could never put into words. Your writing is so beautiful. I've never read a more eloquent description of the heart of being a mother. Of wanting to see them grow and succeed, but also wanting them to stay little forever. You're boys are so adorable too! There is something so precious about little boys that will someday grow up to be big strong men. It makes me dare wondering if we could do a fourth...

    Thanks for another wonderful, uplifting read, Cathe!

  11. My throat is all lumpy just reading this. This window of our life is so, so short. And, I agree, it is all about me, too.

  12. Mika - I'll have to pick up Someday. Thank you so much for the recommendation! And I'm sure I'll be just as "clucky" in the near future. Reaching for babies any chance I get. Love that word by the way. And ps - my "tips" are coming. I'm slow, but I promise I will send them soon!

    K1K2 - I love that our twins are so close in age. We'll be going the "bittersweet" journey together.

    Jen - I ought not to ignore our laundry much longer either! :)

    Leslie - loved being with you Saturday. Thanks for the AMI links.

    Cristie - So happy to see you this morning and to know (thanks to lodestar) what is happening with you. xoxo

    Anne Marie - Oh! Kindergarten. That is one of the biggest milestones. "filling in the holes" will be a new experience. I hope you'll tell me all about it. xo

    Saydi - That is how I feel about you. You write how I feel so often. I love you.

    Kerri - And it just keeps slipping. I hope you are feeling ready for summer, change of schedule, warmth. xo

    Jenjamin - Goodness! You have a GORGEOUS family! And I love that McConkie quote on your sidebar. I hope you'll chime in on a twinspin now and then. You sound like you'd have oodles of wisdom to share. Thanks for your comment.

    Steph - "Dare wonder" - Any and every child that comes to you is so very lucky. Leaving this stage behind, I can see why so many women suffer from "needing a newborn" syndrome. love you.

    Liz - Funny isn't it? They're so ready. And we're not. But maybe that's okay. love you.

  13. We too have tried to freeze time. Our cute babies and young kids are slipping into older kids. I love the stages they are moving into, but frequently miss the stages they left behind. And when we move back this summer and E and H completely lose their English accents, is going to totally break my heart.


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