(wednesday evening)
I've been pretty emotional all day. Didn't cry but I felt it... there... all day. I'm sure you know the feeling. My son is starting preschool, my daughter kindergarten... between that, ink being still fresh on the divorce, and oh, this whole gender thing... lots of emotions constantly running through my head.

The next time my kids stay at my place, I am putting them in bunk beds. It's time. Currently my son has been in the crib in my room, daughter in the other room. Tonight we did G's bedtime routine... read him book, said prayers, then I pick him up and carry him over so he can turn his monitor on, and check his night-light. We then turn on his music and stand in front of the crib and cuddle with his head on my shoulder, me gently scratching his back, until he decides he wants to go down... usually a minute, maybe two. That cuddling is one of my favorite things.

As I walked back to the crib, carrying him, it occurred to me that this was the last time that I was ever going to do this... for him, or any other child of mine... I'm not having any more kids. It was all I could do to hold it in... I didn't want to put him down. Of course, this was the night when he immediately went for the crib. I laid him down and rubbed his head a couple extra times and told him I loved him. I hoped I didn't drip tears all over him. He extended that little arm of his and I kissed his hand and wished him good night.

I left the room and the floodgates opened. I stood there at the top of the stairs, bawling, trying to be quiet. My daughter heard me, asked why I was sad... I came downstairs and explained through my tears that it mostly makes Mommies and Daddies happy when their children grow up, but sometimes it makes them a little sad, too. She ran over, jumped in my lap, and hugged me. Then she said, "well, I am going to cheer you up." So she got some markers and crayons, and we drew some silly pictures together. She helped... a lot. Every couple minutes, she'd look over at me and say, "well, you look happier now." "Yes, I am, thank you honey girl."

Did her bedtime routine and came down and wrote this because I don't want to forget. I don't want to forget what it's like to lay my son down in his crib. I don't want to forget what that feels like.

I feel better, but still a little sad and wistful.

We will migrate to the new bedtime routine, and it will be fine. And the last time we do that routine, I'll probably write some more.

I'll probably go upstairs and watch him in a little while, after they are asleep.

(thursday morning)
I did go up and check on him.  He looked a little chilly so I covered him up with his blanket.  Her, too.  Adding to the emotion is the fact that they're going on vacation with their Mom starting this weekend, so I won't see them for a couple weeks.  I was still emotional and S. was aware... after breakfast she comes to me and says, "I think that you are still sad.  So I don't even want to play!  I just want to make you pictures to cheer you up.  And when you are done cleaning the kitchen we will just cuddle on the couch."  She drew me a few pictures, we cuddled, and I dropped them off.  And of course completely lost it as soon as I got back in the car.

Between this trip, the divorce, the gender change, kids starting school, and my body just getting used to E flowing through it, sometimes it is all too much to bear.  I know that I will be a better parent to them as myself... intellectually I know that there isn't anything I can't do as a female with them, that I can do as a male... but there is still that feeling that I am taking something away from them.  I can't define what that is, but it's something.  That intangible something is really hard to deal with.

They came here last night. left this morning... played for maybe 2 hours total.  It is amazing, the mess that a 5 and 3-year old are capable of making in two hours.  Usually we all clean up together.  This time, we didn't.  I think I'm going to leave the mess here for a while.


Awww girl. I have read a few stories lately that really made me cry. One was about a lady who lost her baby at 7 months and another was about a lady with AIS who couldn't have children. And now your blog post. I have never and will probably never have (at least biological) children but I can definitely feel your emotions when you write about it....and how your daughter cheered you up was so sweet too. *hugs*

Kids are absolutely the most amazing human beings on earth. Especially when they are your own. The times you spend with them will stay with you for the rest of your life.
When they get older, it will seem like yesterday when you were putting them to bed, cuddling on the couch, or reading stories to them while they laid their heads on your shoulders or later when they start reading their favorite books to you.

These times are so precious and yet so fleeting.
But these are the times and moments that bond you to them and them to you for the rest of your and their lives and the bonds created are the ones that will carry you through the more difficult times as they become more independent and start to break away as teenagers to create their own lives.

There is nothing inherently male or female about these bonds between parent and child. Love is genderless and the richness of love expressed through caring and giving is what life is all about. Your daughter showed you that. Kids are great teachers. They get right to the point and heart of the matter. People think it is a parents job to teach their kids. But I think it is also a parents job to learn from their kids. They can teach us so much about life and about ourselves if just let them and learn to listen to them.

Your story makes me laugh, makes me smile, makes me remember those special times spent with my kids when they were small. Sometimes I wish I could go back and experience those moments again... but then I think of all the experiences and moments since that time and know that it is precisely because they have passed and cannot be experienced again that makes them so precious in my heart. They have grown and are still growing into their lives and I am grateful to know them, to be their parent and to be a part of their lives. The experience of being a parent changes over time - but the connections you have to your children never do.

Treasure all these moments! ... Whether happy or sad, They are all good and part of the fabric of a rich and meaningful life.

What is abundantly clear to me from your blogs you have posted here is that you are coming into your own too, as a woman, as a parent and as a person. Time to celebrate that!.. And yes! - Be the REAL you - as often as you can!.. I don't think you can go wrong doing that. That is the person that everyone wants to know and is happy to be around. That should tell you something all by itself!

PS: There is nothing wrong with a little melancholy here and there.. I think it brings depth and texture to life. And when you've been there for a while, and you are ready to draw back the curtain - you can then happily exclaim "Here comes the sun and I say...it's all right" (GH)


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