I'm back from the land of the surgically stoned. I survived, in spite of Zack and his dire predictions. And with my head cleared of pain meds, I can resume blogging. Did ya miss me? Never mind. Don't answer that. Let's get this post under way.
Books are a huge part of my life. As you may have noticed, I added a spot for good books on my blog. I'm always on the lookout for something that can transport me from the mundane world of motherhood into a delicious realm of fantasy--even if it is urban. I love youth fiction. I find that after a hard day, my brain feels like oatmeal that's sat on the kitchen counter for several hours. I bet it looks similar as well. Adult books usually have deep themes and gigantic words, complicated issues my mushy head cannot absorb. But youth fiction--it's just right. Not too hot, not too cold, the perfect temperature and consistency, easily digested.
Picture books are every bit as delicious as youth books and I have the good fortune of feasting on them every evening, at bed time. There is nothing better than a comfy chair, a fun story, and a small warm body nestled against mine. My arm is always draped across his shoulders, pulling him deeper into myself. I hold one side of the book, while he holds the other. We turn the pages together. First, we look at the pictures, because they tell the story without any words. We take turns guessing about the plot, wondering if we can figure it out. Then the magic happens. My voice is not my own. It becomes that of a frog who is making a valentine for his mommy. Then it changes again, and I'm a shark trying not to eat my teacher. The metamorphosis continues, night after night, story after story. Ian is part of the magic.
I don't know how many of you have ever tried snuggling a child that can't hold still. And when I say can't hold still--I mean it. Ian's brain does not ever allow his body to stop moving. Even in his sleep, he bangs his head against the mattress so hard it shakes the bed. As a tiny newborn, he hated being swaddled. He hated being cuddled or held. Bonding was difficult because his body rebelled. But I could see in his eyes that his soul craved it. I started rocking him at night. The back-and-forth motion soothed him, although he still wiggled and struggled to be free. Then I started singing to him. The motion combined with my voice is how we bonded. I got to hold my boy, and he got to snuggle with his mommy. Night after night his muscles learned to accept this routine and after a year, he didn't wiggle as much.
Ian is seven now. We celebrated his birthday last week. Our rocking time morphed into story time. His body is growing--so is mine--we will have to change chairs soon. But with him against my side, I smell his hair and feel it fuzzy against my cheek. I listen to his questions about the story which always lead to questions about life, and I answer him the best I can. We talk, we read, we snuggle, we bond. And Ian holds still... almost.