a love story: thirst memories


 Want the backstory first? Read A Love Story from the bottom to the top, or click the My Love Songs tab at the top.——-

word-of-testimony

Thirst Memories

We bring him in, tightly burritoed and jammed with blankets and buckles into a car seat, and we introduce him to our curious dog before I waddle to the bed where family joins. Friends drop food, and Seth entertains them, proudly exhausted. My milk comes quickly, and he attaches so easily, then nods to sleep, and I stare and I stare at him. I undo his blanket, and look at him all over. I can’t believe he’s an actual person. 

 The house empties, and in a weepy post-pardom mess, we lock eyes, and I share the Gospel with Isaac for the first time. He responds blankly, and I giggle at myself, then drift to sleep, waking every thirty seconds to check his breathing. 

I don’t rest but rather tighten up into a willed machine, clench my secrets, and bow low in prayer, in my exhaustion, but hiding parts away, aware always that this is my second baby. Aware always that I could have torn this family apart, but instead we grow.

Seth keeps his hand on my back, where it had grown needed in labor. He stays present. Neither of us want to miss the growing, the chance to bond, the chance to see the other in Isaac’s face. We repeat the word “unbelievable.” Seth props him on pillows and plays guitar, and he kicks his crazy legs. We take pictures of every drooling twitch of his lips.

A favorite book makes one noise that terrifies, and we chuckle then comfort and rock. We feed him baby foods that make him gag, and then I decide to make my own baby food, organic, of course. I spend money and hours of cooking, and grinding, and pureeing, and all the while, Isaac is sitting over the doggy bowl eating dog food. Seth and I laugh and laugh, and we think about the deep connection we’re making with Isaac. Oh, how we’ll remember these moments, those pajamas, the smell of powder in his room. We constantly take note. Say Look at what he did, we in baby journalism. 

Now Isaac walks down the isle. It’s graduation or it’s marriage. He’s not thinking about his Mama and her crazy love, or the books we read together, or the attacks of the tickle monster, but I am. I remember my baby. Seth squeezes my hand. Those memories of Isaac are not for me and Isaac. They’re for me and the one who had bought my diamond after only one month, the one who had stuck his finger in the ripped jeans and touched the back of my knee, the one who became my kin, my home, the one who worked at my glowing ashes,  the one who desired me and wanted me satisfied – purely, claimed me – again and again. 

In the memory-making, we aren’t bonding only with the child, we’re meshing, again, drinking it all in together, our delight, and extending ourselves, as in love-making, into the other’s heart – healing, strengthening, growing.

I think of that tiny hot body and his miniature hand in my shiny hair, how I pour out like a fountain, how thirsty I am, how Seth never fails to bring me the water.

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amberhaines
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15 Comments

Heather of the EO
Reply September 15, 2009

Ugh, this was just...so good. I wish there were actual words for your comment box that could do your posts justice. There just aren't.

One of my favorite things about having children is the bond it's strengthened between Ryan and I. Our imperfect bond between two imperfect people strengthened by this little guys that come out so perfect no matter their imperfections.

I'm seeing how many times I can say perfect/imperfect.

This post? Perfect :)

Kelly
Reply September 15, 2009

Oh Amber, I needed this today... I've been so discouraged about being pregnant again. I needed to "see" your story, to be there with you in that wonder, in the memories that aren't even made. Thank you so much. This is beautiful to me.

ginny
Reply September 15, 2009

have mercy, amber. maybe my favorite post. beautiful!

Stephanie Laney
Reply September 15, 2009

I have to agree with Ginny this is definitely one of my favorite posts. It's beautiful!!!

Jenn
Reply September 15, 2009

I just found your blog through the (in)courage site. What a beautiful post!!

I read that you are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. Congrats! We are also in the process of adopting, although our daughter is already in our arms. Blessings for the journey!

Jenn @ buildingmommymuscles.blogspot.com

brittney
Reply September 15, 2009

I look forward to experiencing these things with my husband in the near future. Thank you for sharing this. At our point in life, most tell us we're crazy and how hard it will be, but you also tell the truth and the beauty we have to look forward to.

Jo@Mylestones
Reply September 15, 2009

I have so loved reading your story, the word of your testimony. I heard a crescendo here. And it was beautiful.

JustAnotherJenn
Reply September 15, 2009

So good Amber. What a reminder about God's plan for our families. As mom's we can be so kid focused that we forget about our spouses - thank you for the reminder. I sent link love your way today because this post was so wonderfully written!

Sue Sue
Reply September 15, 2009

I cried.

Serena Woods
Reply September 15, 2009

Your writing is beautiful, Amber Runs Amuck.

Serena

Martha
Reply September 15, 2009

I had to end on this one tonight. Couldn't read any others. Just had to kiss my babies and go to bed. Thanks.

Sara Sophia
Reply September 16, 2009

Reading this made me remember all the ways
my husband has saved me.
Sent by Larger Hands to catch me when I was swaying near the edge of the abyss.

Pulled me up and told me I was beautiful.
Wanted.
Needed.
Safe.

I am crying now---for his love is bigger than I could ever give him credit for. I am the teaser, the tickler, the joke-maker but, my husband--my HEAD--and the one I submit to, is so much more than his earthly form.

He deserves a thousand jewels in the kingly crown that awaits him.
He has been a servant and a saviour sent by the One Who Taught Him.
He has been Jesus to me.

Thank you for making me remember.

Bianca
Reply September 17, 2009

*Inhale* I think I just inhaled after several seconds of losing my breath...

This was one of the most beautiful sensual/sexy/safe/sweet posts I've read about a spouse. Ever.

*Exhale* It was breathtaking...

To Think Is To Create
Reply September 18, 2009

So lovely. I just got caught up on these stories tonight...a great way to spend a Friday night if you ask me.

Carrington
Reply October 10, 2009

Ha! Just noticed my sister was the last to comment, and I've spent the evening reading this whole story as well (just like her). I'll have to smack her for not telling me about this sooner. I was looking for a great story tonight, and I've loved finding yours- especially as I sit here all cuddled up with my belly, and imagining with your words going through all those things again (it's my second). It makes me so excited, and I too bonded with my husband- and still do, over every little thing my daughter does. So beautifully written!

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