Thursday, May 17, 2007
Last week my 'Love Thursday' post was about my lover-of-life-Owen (click here). This week it is about my sweetie baby Kyle. I love both of my boys fiercely and equally, but --surely, as all mothers and their children do-- we have very different relationships with different kinds of bonds. For Kyle and I, the bond was instantaneous, and it was deeply profoundly loving. From the first moment I held this child he was Mama's Boy. Sitting with him in the orphanage the first day, he had no interest in playing with me or even examining who I was, he simply took one look at my face, snuggled in tight, and within 20 minutes was fast asleep on my lap as we drove away from the orphanage -- the only place he had ever known. He showed absolutely no signs of grieving the loss of the people who had cared for him from the time he was born, he showed absolutely no signs of anxiety over leaving his home never to return, he showed absolutely no signs of losing everything he had ever known. He never looked back. From the second we met, all he seemed to care about were two things: 1) that his brother was o.k., and 2) that his Mama did not leave his side. He clung to me with an intensity that is impossible to describe. I'd hold him for all of his waking hours, and yet the second he awoke he'd frantically reach for me. I vividly remember the plane flight from Port-au-Prince to Miami. I held Kyle on my lap in a Baby Bjorn front-carrier. He did not sleep a wink. He cooed endlessly, and drooled all over me, and could not stop rubbing his face and lips all over mine. I remember actively trying to fight off the urge to feel self-conscious of what the people on the plane around me were thinking -- the scene was so completely over-the-top... This eight-month-old baby boy and I were fully in the throws of an intense love-affair in an isle seat right in the middle of the airplane. Kyle did not cry for the first week we knew him (and Rock, the Director of the orphanage, told us that no one at the orphanage had ever heard him cry). I remember thinking that this baby was so broken; that he had not cried meant that my mothering with him was going to have to be all about healing his ability to cry for his needs. I remember telling Braydon that "we have to be prepared-- this baby might only cry a little bit at first, but we have to respond right away and dramatically!" Or, I feared, "maybe we won't even recognize it as a cry?" But the first time he cried it was a wailing, heart-breaking, soul-wrenching sob that seemed to just drain all of the pain this baby had endured for the first eight months of his life. For more than twenty minutes straight he sobbed and sobbed, and I sobbed too, rocking him in the sunlight sitting in the pale blue rocker in the babies' room. It was the morning of our first day home from Haiti. He had slept in his own house for the first time the night before, and had just eaten two full bottles of fortified baby formula. He was happy, and content, and full of grief. He was only about 13 pounds, and his belly was so distended that I remember feeling like it was hard to hold him close enough. But I held him as tight as I could, and speaking in English --the only language I could speak, but a language he had never heard prior to that first week with us-- I told my baby that it was all done, I'm so sorry it took me so long to get to him, he was home now, and I was his Mama. Owen and Braydon were right there, sitting on the floor. Owen was bewildered and concerned (he had rarely, if ever, heard his twin brother cry), Braydon was struggling to hold back the tears in his own eyes, and we all four made our way through that moment in time. My Ky Ky eventually stopped crying, looked up at me briefly, and then fell fast asleep in my arms. Every time I rock him now I think of that experience. This boy is the sweetest thing I have ever known. His love just pours out of him. And he absorbs love like a thick love sponge. Kyle loves love. He loves to give it and he loves to receive it. People who know him well know this about my Kyle. Kyle loves with a rare, extraordinary intensity. Happy Love Thursday everyone.