they'd suddenly become my favorite things

isaac 7_8_12-3-2

it might sound strange, but i searched and searched my blog these past several minutes to try to find the post {i thought i wrote a while back} which contained the quote from my husband that is the title of my post today.

but i couldn't find it... not by typing in a key word {like couch} in the search field, nor by scrolling through all the posts i've published since isaac was born.

when i was finally about to give up, thinking i'd lost my mind because i must have never written and published a post i thought i surely had {i could swear i even took a specific photo just for it}, i remembered to look on my blogger dashboard to see if it might have been started and saved as a draft... never published and not yet complete.

i was right. the draft was there. in fact, not a word was yet written other than the title, and my post contained only this photo... waiting for words to complete the picture. i must have confused writing it in my mind with writing those thoughts out via the keyboard.

the reason i searched and searched for the post was so that i might leave a comment with a link to it on this blogger's post today.

rachel, from finding joy, had written about something that was not only pervading my thoughts and was on my heart these past few days, but what had also been there many days ago... back when i first set out to write the post {last july}.

the reason it's been on my mind again as of late is the same reason it's been on rachel's, who wrote out my exact thoughts, but in her own thoughtful words.

let me explain...

i'll have to try to recall exactly the way i was feeling back in july. i must have been feeling a great deal of frustration, and if i know myself, i know i was voicing my frustration to mr. b while going through it. i do remember wondering, "just when is this stage of isaac chewing on everything in sight going to end?" i do remember finding countless things that had made their way into his ever-growing teeth and teething gums and pools of saliva... ruined or damaged. 

chewed-up family heirlooms, worth nothing monetarily, but everything sentimentally. 

teeth marks in furniture... brand new furniture. 

shredded books... sweet, adorable books that are the kind you'd like to keep and preserve so that your child could one day give them to his own child. 

evidence {i.e., stuffing bursting out of ripped-at-the-seams material} from a teething chomper pulling at the corners of the couch arms that were already wearing, but would have otherwise had a decent amount of aesthetic life left in them. {and i'm talking about a beautiful mid-century modern couch passed down from mr. b's parents.}

countless saliva stains on silk throw pillows or cushions.

all typical coming from a toddler of the very young age of one, so nothing to legitimately complain about. but sometimes you forget that your child is learning and does not necessarily learn as quickly as you expected or like to think. so we found ourselves getting frustrated that, in mere days, the couch arms went from looking slightly worn to looking like the beat-up couch of a bunch of teenagers that their parents let them have for their basement hangout {i'm picturing something like the one in that 70s show??}

and it wasn't just this. it was so many other things that he could and would do in such a short span... sometimes minutes. throwing things out. hiding things. breaking things. wasting as many wipes or kleenex as he possibly could by pulling each and every one out of the box when we weren't looking. little things. acts that we might think were endearing if we saw someone else's child doing them... or even our own after the first one or two instances. but when it accumulated, it came to a point of grating our nerves... to the point of vocally expressing frustration and annoyance. {yes... we sometimes get annoyed with that sweet boy.}

well, i distinctly remember one day as we were all standing within a few feet of that infamous couch. mr. b. and i must have had a good amount of sleep the night before, because isaac approached the corner of the arm with that conniving look in his eye, yet we handled it with patience and grace.

"no, isaac. don't bite the couch."

and by bite, we meant clamp your teeth onto it and pull at it like a dog eating a giant bone full of some tasty morsel.

he listened. he had heeded.

frustration averted. annoyance-filled reprimand squelched.

it was then that mr. b. looked at me and said something along these lines... 

"i was thinking about it... we get easily frustrated at all these things isaac keeps doing... like ripping up this couch. but if, God forbid, something tragic ever happened to isaac and we lost him, they'd suddenly become my favorite things."

isn't that just the truth?

the post i linked to above said the same exact thing... we'd give anything to see them do those things that we easily find complaint with again. not only the running-up-to-give-kisses or sweet-new-mispronounced-words or giggling-and-smiles things that are easy to love and appreciate.

but also the mischievous, outright disobediences and curiosity-driven habitual destructiveness. we'd give anything to have every single thing we own ruined and ugly and worthless to have him back if we lost him. and we'd give up everything we owned to have him back in our lives.

i imagine i'd probably sit at the end of that couch every single day and never move even just an inch away, and i'd simply sit and cup my hand around that exposed stuffing with my head bowed down, trying to catch a whiff of his breath left behind in his dried-up saliva. and tears would flow endlessly and mix in with it all.

and i know that's just how those parents feel who lost their children on friday. i know they will feel that way every day of the rest of their lives. or maybe i should say, i imagine instead of i know... because i can't begin to know what they are feeling and thinking. i can't even begin to grasp what they are going through, when just the thought of having my child taken from me is unbearable.

so i wonder how in God's name they can deal with this terrible thing that can't even be assigned an adjective like terrible, because there is no word to accurately describe it's terribleness. i can barely think of it. my heart is so unexplainably broken for them, and i grieve for each one. and i cry out to God... weeping for them. i can only hope they feel the collective support of those who are praying for them.

and so i think, once again, how i had better heed my husband's wise, indirect form of advice by remembering the same thought that he had realized that day, hoping it might make me appreciate and treasure isaac more than i would if i didn't think it often...

that they'd suddenly become my favorite things.


beth said...

as a parent, trying to imagine our children leaving this world before us is unimaginable.....

so we cherish everyday with them and when a tragedy strikes like what we all just witnessed, we cherish those days even more.....

this was beautifully written georgia !!

georgia b. said...

thank you, beth.

yes... it's sad that it takes something so awful to make us cherish others more. but i guess that is the one good thing about pain in life.

A said...

A few things... I feel like you might have mentioned this story before because it's been in my head since Sofia has been born & thinking about our struggling moments as we've become parents. Of course we have some more challenging moments ahead when she grows into the cute little toddler I am sure she'll be. I love that you have shared your husband's words. They are soooo important to remember.

Second, I have been thinking about you because I haven't seen photos updated lately of Isaac and from your photography business/outings. I was hoping all was well and had meant to email you but always remembered that I wanted to email in moments when sending an email was impossible.

georgia b. said...

thank you, alicia. nice to hear from you. i decided to go offline for a while... to focus on other things in my life. temporarily took down my fb account and my blog. but felt like writing on my blog, so put that back up. fb is still down, though. that's why you haven't seen me there for a bit. it's just temporary... not sure for how long. likely until we have come through some changes in our lives and i feel like the {sometimes good} distraction of fb won't keep me from focusing on these other things.

i so appreciate you checking in. one of the biggest reasons i'd like to get back on there is to see pics of sweet sofia... and you. i hope you are well. i will also write to you via e-mail, in case you don't get this.