on endings + great beginnings

1.09.2015

would you look at that poise? that up there is the image of self-assurance, of independence. moments after this picture was taken, i asked august to hold his grandmother's hand as we walked on the canal. he obliged for an instant before reconsidering and then declining with a polite albeit frank, no. we laughed at his candor, then watched as he wandered over to the bank of the adjacent canal to throw sticks into it. it's pictures like this one that have me emotional lately and you'll have to excuse those emotions for the ensuing ramblings.

sometime in the last couple of weeks it seems, august has grown into a little boy. it's happened (and continues to happen) right in front of me. you know how when you see someone every day, you don't notice the changes so much? it wasn't until i came across this picture that it hit me (well, it was the picture + all the emotions). 

during the week while andy and i are at work, august spends his days with marina - a little girl who is about sixteen months older than he is - and their shared nanny, vilma. most nights when i pick august up, i sit with vilma for a little while to catch up on her day with the children. she tells me stories, like how they all went for a ride in the double stroller and august unintentionally kicked at the back of marina's seat (which drove marina nuts but was also something she had coming because she did the same to the other little boy vilma used to watch before august). or i'll hear outrageous tales, like the time when marina helped august "escape" from his pack-n-play one afternoon when he should have been napping - a puzzling mystery until vilma caught it all on camera. lately, the stories are about how marina is teaching august all the things big girls (and boys) do, from feeding to dressing themselves.

at first, august didn't like the new responsibilities that came with being a "big boy". in fact, when vilma called him that he reportedly burst into tears and cried BABYYYY! that was weeks ago though and he is starting to take to his new role. i think he may even be a little bit proud of it now. 

the other day, after being scolded for spewing water from his sippy cup, i watched august take a drink from his cup, place it on the table, and say to himself: no baby, big boy. my heart broke a little bit at that moment. i often catch myself watching august like that, observing as he continues to discover, understand, and challenge the world around him. he's becoming more of a boy every day and it's happening right in front of me. still, for every new word or gesture of independence, there are moments that remind me that although he's not a baby, he's not quite a boy. a little big boy, maybe.

in the mean time, i've been changing too. i've reached that stage in motherhood where my role has shifted from nurturer to molder. i know i've mentioned it before, but i guess what's more striking is how that role has affected me in a more basic sense. 

for a long time now i have been living for august. i was his and he was an extension of me. in a very literal way, my body has existed exclusively for him the past two years. suddenly now, i am all "mine" again and at first it felt lonely, empty.

there is always an emptiness whenever something comes to an end. sometimes it fills itself and other times you have to do the filling, but in either case, it needs to be replaced by something better for the emptiness to truly be gone. since all these thoughts and feelings coincided with the beginning of a new year, i immediately turned to goal-setting, which is fine and grand until i remembered a quote my dad always used to tell us: it's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. that's when i realized what's been happening all along, right before my eyes: august is becoming an independent little boy!

the end of a thing doesn't have to bed sad, when it is beginning of something great.

23 comments:

rebecca said...

It's interesting to me how in life the greatest things that happen to us, and for us, are at the moment they're happening sometimes also the most painful or sad. I was only ever a dog-momma, and kids are different, but not having them in my life now, not being needed in that role after I moved north, I get the whole "empty" thing. It does take time to fill back up with something else, and I love that you acknowledge that that "something else" has to be better for the empty feeling to go away. I don't have another fur-babe yet, but I'm working on it. And I'm hoping that when I do they can help me fill up that space better than anything else in life has thus far. Sending you good energy as you navigate this changing role, both for August, and for yourself. xxo

Hollands reverie said...

Oh my, I understand wholly. It's so beautiful and my greatest gift to walk with them as they grow up, but oh it can be so hard. I am far to hormonal this week and now you have me crying all over again! Enjoy your weekend.

www.hollandsreverie.blogspot.com

Fiona Harding said...

awww, what an amazing little big boy though :) I feel you on the change though, sometimes you just want to freeze time for a little bit longer!

Sarah McConnell said...

I love this! I've been feeling some of the same things watching my Hawk becoming more a boy than baby these days- though he's younger than August, I can see the change around the bend and it does make me sad. And then my Seth is all boy now, so grown and I can barely keep up with him! Just remember the new season is beautiful, too.

Petra said...

an interesting read. we just had monsieur's two kids for the weekend, and by spending more time with them, I start to understand more about motherhood. it's still nothing I can imagine for myself, so I guess I can be grateful for getting some of these experiences in a less intense way.

Annie Montgomery said...

oh, how darling! the outrageous tales those two littles have together. so precious.

melaniekay said...

Okay, this picture is incredible! I love his little coat!
Melanie @ meandmr.com

Lauren said...

This is a beautiful and moving description of motherhood. I am at such a different end of the spectrum from you, my son is 15, and yet, despite the age difference between our boys, it's not so different after all.

My husband and I comment a lot about how the teen years are a good bit like toddlerhood. Fierce emotion. Crazy growth. But bigger bodies. You are nurturer and molder both, along the way. Just when you think, "he's got this." You realize, no, not quite yet. And somehow he knows it too. Each season is special and beautiful.

Erin said...

My heart and emotions were all over the place with this post. The bit about August bursting into tears, wanting to stay a baby? Killed me. The bit about you becoming wholly your own again? Killed me. The big about August escaping from his crib? Cracked me up, like something out of The Rugrats. Your little boy is so darling. xo

Kaylan said...

beautiful thoughts, mama. i echo so much of this post. it is truly a bittersweet process, watching them grow and become independent. much love to you.

lucinda said...

and your piece on aussie last week nearly had me shedding tears in solidarity! although our children are in different stages, it seems that motherhood cycles through similar challenges + developements. i can't say enough about this online community though - how we can connect and share and support one another. xo

lucinda said...

yes! you a right, the transition may be bumbpy but the destination is always beautiful. thank you for that, sarah. xo

lucinda said...

thank you for this thoughtful + sweet comment, rebecca. a mother's heart shines in many different ways and no less when she is a dog-momma (i myself am one, as well). i hope you will find that fur-babe soon! xo

lucinda said...

thank you so much for this, lauren. your empathy is really touching and your insight is estimable. i hadn't thought so far as the teenage years, but i can definitely see the parallels. it's comforting to know that the nurturing aspect does, in fact, remain and plays a collaborating role to the molding one. xo

lucinda said...

yes, your position is ideal for gaining that perspective at "arms length". being the youngest of five and an aunt to nine before august was born definitely provided me experiences that helped me better to adjust to the role once it was mine. i still remember the relief, though, to "give them back to their parents" at the end of a play date so i can relate to your sentiments. ;)

Christine D. | The Plumed Nest said...

oh this just pulled on my heart strings. first i want to reach through my screen and hug that little big boy. he is so stinking cute, lucinda. really he's beyond adorable.

i know one of the things that i've learned in motherhood is that i think there is (or maybe was in generation past) that our children adjust to us, but really it is us who must always be adjusting to them. or lives are intrinsically synced and as parents we must be ahead of them, but sometimes we just aren't and those times can be hard adjustments as things change, but we were pretty comfortable with the way they were. i think one of the things i've been dealing with lately, maybe one of the things that caught up with me is my M+L going to school. it's been such a life changer, and while completely positive, there's been loss in that for me as a mother. i am sure as summer approaches and school is out there will be loss in them being in school!

as always, a beautiful and eloquent reflection on motherhood. xoxo

lucinda said...

ohmygoodness, yes christine! you've put into words what's been eluding me - that we mistakingly tie their growth to all the transitioning required when really, as parents, we have as much if not more to do. and that obligation/responsibility of staying a step ahead! oh how we get tripped up over that obligation sometimes! thank you, sweet friend, for you kind words and reassurance. xo

Amy S. said...

I can imagine there are so many mixed emotions going on for you right now. Happy that he's growing and learning so much, yet sad because he's not that little baby anymore, who depends on mama for everything.
The whole thing will be a learning process for you both, but have confidence that you're doing a great job and Auggie is a smart, precious, lucky little boy who has so many people that love him! :-)

Nicole Rouge said...

I've only just found your blog. You write so beautifully. I don't have kids yet but I think acceptance is one of the biggest challenges in parenting. It must be crazy watching them grow up so fast :)

lucinda said...

thank you so much, nicole. it really is amazing watching your own children grow - there's some new development almost every day! have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.

rooth said...

Oh what a love lovely little boy you have and don't you sometimes wish you could just freeze time, just for a sec. Savor and hold it and then look forward to the fun things to come in the future. It'll only get better right?

Hannah Smith | fox and willow said...

you can just see a little boost of confidence in that pose! Mothering is such a bittersweet process and you've captured it beautifully in these words <3

blackheart betty said...

This was all very nicely stated. I have three children in various stages of life. I am so sad to leave the baby stage behind, but I look forward to new adventures!

 

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