Our little man is six months old today and I absolutely cannot believe it! This time last year a lot of really crazy and scary things were happening in our lives, but at the same time I was also just over a month pregnant, and completed thrilled at the prospect of finally becoming a mommy.
In celebration of N's 'half birthday' today we scheduled a play date with his buddy J. Little J's folks were in the same antenatal classes as DH and I and we became firm friends pretty much from day one. I'll never forget the first class, when J's mom and dad walked in (she was a month further in her pregnancy than me) and sat down on the couch in the Storks Nest. The couch leg snapped immediately and the two of them landed gently (luckily) on the floor. It was hysterical and a great way to break the ice for our first class!
Anyway, I left work a bit early and we headed off after his lunchtime bottle. When we walked into their lounge, J's mom proudly told me that J (who is four weeks almost to the day older than N) had started a pre-crawl 'drag' and could now maneuver himself around on the floor! She was super excited and wanted J to demonstrate his new-found talent for us immediately. She plopped him down on the floor and tried, in vain, to get him to move. He was clearly much more interested in staring at the lady with a baby standing in front of him, and just lay there on his tummy with both legs and both arms in the air - skydiving style. "Oh well, I'm sure he'll show us his new moves in his own time," I said and plopped N down on the floor on his back (he is sooo NOT a fan of Tummy Time - to the extent that I am worried he will never ever crawl - but that's a whole different story for a whole different day…). Within seconds of me plonking N down, his buddy J went into drag-maneuver overdrive and was suddenly right next to him. Before we knew what had happened he reached out and grabbed onto N's face (I think he thought N was a toy that might squeak if he squished it really hard). Unfortunately he managed to grab a bit too hard and his nail gouged into N's skin, drawing blood. Needless to say N gave off more than just a little 'squeak' and when she saw the blood poor J's mom looked like she was about to sit down and cry herself!
Once I settled N down and wiped away the little smudge of blood under his right eye I managed to calm J's mom and reassure her that he was okay! It was a helluva start to a playdate, but he is absolutely fine with just a tiny scratch under his eye.
The whole thing freaked me out less than I thought it would. I know its par-for-the-course with kids and it won’t be the last time I’m sure! But it is still always hard seeing your little one in pain. We've had to endure it a few times so far in N’s life - with blood tests, vaccinations and a biopsy to boot! And consoling them when they are in genuine physical pain is heartbreaking. After his little mishap today, I realized that when I became a mom I signed up for a lifetime of consoling. I realized (especially as he’s a boy), that there would be a lifetime of scratches, bruises, bumps and cuts…and that doesn’t even begin to include the emotional pains that life brings with it. As much as I want him to grow and learn, I also wish I could keep him small and as protected as possible from all the dangers of the world. I only have to think about how much pain I have in my heart from losing you mom, and I wish I could spare my son this kind of hurt.
I remember thinking, when we brought N home from the hospital how much I wished I could put him back into my tummy. Don't get me wrong, I loved having my baby here, but it was so much easier knowing how to protect him from the world when he was tucked away inside me.
But I know I can't protect him from everything. It's part of living... and I guess loss and hurt (both physical and emotional) remind us every day that we are truely alive.