Gaby Baby

In our frenzied rush to get to church on time this morning, I accidentally slammed three of Gabriel’s fingers in the car door. He shrieked in pain and seeing that he was simply hurt not injured I gathered him in my arms and told Erik, “Just go. We’ll sit in the parking lot and cry while you get us a seat.” (I realize this seems harsh, but do you know how hard it is to find a bench at church that seats eight people? It gives me a panic attack every week.)

Once we’d both wiped our tears I carried him into church and, despite the stifling heat, held him on my lap for the duration of the meeting. Later, at home, I cut up his waffles and fed him because “my hand hurts.”

The big boys called him out as a faker(as he clearly was) and voiced their repeated complaint, “Stop babying him, mom. You’re turning him into a wimp!”

“Back off boys.” I replied. “Anytime I slam my baby’s hand in the door I get to coddle him as much as I want.”

I do baby my Gabriel. But it’s simply because I know my time is almost up with him. In the fall he will be in school all day and will surely learn that it’s not cool to sit on your mom’s lap in church or to feed your teddy bear with a baby bottle. He’ll master tying his shoes and riding a bike. He’ll learn words and ideas I wish I could protect him from.

Before long he’ll be making his own lunches and washing his own clothes. He’ll program my ipod and inform me where he is going rather than asking my permission. And sadly, one of these days he’ll stop hugging and kissing me a hundred times a day and telling me, “You’re my bestest mommy in the whole world.”

Not all of Gabriel’s life is better than yours, my big boys. If you had slammed your finger as a six-year-old I would have run back into the house for a bag of ice and possibly just kept you home(It was much easier to find a bench in church with a smaller family.). You had many more trips to the park and the zoo, to movies and to restaurants(remember when we went to lunch at The Broiler and they gave us free meals and desserts after Stefan’s glass spontaneously shattered? We ate ourselves silly.).

I expected too much of you as six-year-olds; and I’m so sorry for that. Too often, you were pushed off my lap by a toddler or a nursing baby.

I wish I could have held you more.

I wish I’d collected as many kisses from you then as I do now from Gabriel.

This is why I make brownies whenever you ask or hand you the gas card when we both know you haven’t done quite enough weeding this week. You’re still my babies.

And because of my love for you and your gone-too-soon-little-boyhood, I’m going to hold Gabriel as long as I can.

May 20, 2008



  1. Chelle

    May 20, 2008

    I wrote about the same thing today.

    I was crying about MY post, now I’m all teary eyed over yours.

    So glad to have know you can relate.

  2. Chelle

    May 20, 2008

    “so glad to have know you can relate?” ha!

    I’m tired, can you tell? : )

  3. Bonnie

    May 20, 2008

    Sweet little Gabriel…

  4. Linkous

    May 20, 2008

    You and my mom are almost the same person I think 🙂 This sounds just like her talking to me, Joy, and the other ‘older’ kids out of the 9. You are a great woman, just like she is. Thanks for being there yesterday!

  5. Andrea

    May 20, 2008

    now I’m crying, LOL…that happens a lot when I come here. I see myself on the other end expecting my boys to grow up too fast. I think I like your approach better. You never get that time back. You are so wise. Thank you as always for your great mommy insight.

  6. Ken

    May 20, 2008

    Dear Michelle,
    You are wise and wonderful!
    I wish I held you more and kissed your tiny fingers for any reason or no reason! Sometimes when I’m playing with Mary, I go back in time for she reminds me so much of you; so bright, energetic and loving.
    I love you forever.

  7. ashli

    May 20, 2008

    once again you made me cry.
    cute, cute gabe! sometimes i wish my boys were a little more little boy. they grew up tooooo fast. it seems i lost their sweet innocence at about age five. keep loving and kissing and hugging. it does go by all to fast.

  8. Kelly

    May 20, 2008

    Michelle, You dont know me (Im another photographer) but I read your blog regularly to see what’s up on wild side. You inspired me to write a blog too (can’t thank you enough for that – its been therapeutic). I wanted to comment today – I made it through your lovely post without tears (you are so right) but your dad’s comment made me sob. You are so lucky to have him – and to have a comment like that – what a blessing! I lost my dad when I was 20 so I treasure these kinds of things!

    You are a very blessed woman 🙂
    Sincerely yours,

  9. Denise

    May 20, 2008

    This is a great post and you are a wonderful mother. I think my favorite part, though is the comment from your Dad. To love and be loved…isn’t that what it’s all about?

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