Bean's soul is as bright and young as they come. He's gregarious, giggly, and equally friendly to those who admire his dimples. He's a very different child than Beep.
We are raising them through babyhood in much the same way. Both are held often, put down rarely and kissed constantly. Our strollers sit neglected in the garage while the baby carriers are worn constantly. We decline the high chair at restaurants and the baby's car seat is empty except when we're driving.
I crave the time with my babies, and the days spent apart (while I work) are hard to stomach, some days more than others. Mondays are hard.
With Beep, laughing together is a balm to my soul, and reading her bedtime books fills my yearning for her. With our sweet Bean, nursing him soothes my mother's heart. To have the privilege of nursing him at home I plow my way through four breastmilk pumpings a day at work.
After more than 440 pumpings with this baby alone (not counting Beep), saying I am sick. of. it. is an extreme understatement. Pumping is inconvenient, uncomfortable, never-ending, yields little, and is generally a disruptive pain. I liken it to having my teeth cleaned. Every day, four times a day.
But what I am not sick of is holding my baby boy close when I sit down to feed him myself, and seeing him smile in anticipation. I am not tired of knowing I am his mother and the only one who can feed him this way. He needs me, and I need him. So I invest the time and effort, and I sacrifice my comfort and convenience, and I choose to work really hard at pumping breast milk five days a week.
Because at the end of the day, after I turn off my office light, drive, pick up the babies, drive more, and finally sit down with him, there is comfort and love embodied and closeness. There is this.