I have loved Vaughn at every age. Watching him grow and unfold - I remember clearly the feeling that he was a book we had no idea what it was about. We watched him take shape, develop personality, things he was good at, things he gravitated toward.
In some ways, I love this age the best. At eleven and a half, he is polite and genuinely caring with a quirky and off-beat sense of humor that makes me so proud.
So it's fair to say that I was totally unprepared for the intensity of emotions elicited by watching old baby videos. Videos we haven't watched since we filmed them. The people in the videos are almost strangers to me. I recognize these younger, smoother versions of Jacob and I but I do not connect us to them. Such is the disconnect that I don't see the baby on the screen in the child sitting next to me and it fills me with an unexpected pain and longing. I watch the video of Vaughn and I in the tub, blowing bubbles and practicing letters and I ache to hold his chubby body and breathe in the baby smell. I don't want Vaughn back as a baby and I certainly don't want ANOTHER baby, but I can't reconcile the sadness. The baby on the screen seems like a separate person - a person who is irretrievably gone. I think, "I had a baby once - where is my baby?" I imagine my loving, sweet boy playing with the baby on the screen. I guess it is just one of those maternal things that happens as we get older and watch our children grow.