I was fully enlightened to the truth that “life would never be the same” once I crossed the threshold into parenthood. After experiencing the pain of loss and facing painful insecurities as to whether or not I might ever know the privilege of completely turning my life upside down, this upending became all that I truly wanted.
And it has been major.
And I am grateful.
Although I will admit to being older, more exhausted, more plump and yet significantly less visible, I am also happy in a way that I never was before.
Nevertheless, I will come clean and admit that my first year of being a mother was filled with moments that should have been regulated by the Geneva Conventions. We were visited by colic, breastfeeding difficulties, major sleep problems, poor weight gain (his), poor weight loss (mine), separation anxiety (mine and his), and postpartum anxiety (mine). I will never know how much of this tangled mess resulted from my state of mental disarray nor can I tell you how much was related to the circumstances surrounding my son’s birth but I’m sure that many of our difficulties were exacerbated somewhere in the dark recesses of my own head.
The truth is that it doesn’t really matter.
In my dreams of early motherhood I was basking blissfuly in the beauty of my newborn son, traipsing around town with him happily strapped to my chest instead of spending hours desperately trying to quiet his screams and my fears that his continued survival was anything but guaranteed.
But, as I said, all that truly doesn’t matter now.
My son g is now a spirited toddler and happily pouring over the writings of Richard Scary – for the 2,359,124th time.
I would do everything all over again to get to exactly where we are today.
I sometimes marvel at the fact that I survived and I am, strange as it still seems to me sometimes, a mother. I converted every cell of my body over to taking care of my son for a very long time because that was all my limited faculties could manage.
But every now and then I am reminded of her. That woman that loved to take long quiet walks and get her fingernails dirty.
I catch her stirring, a hint of activity on the EEG. I see that she hasn’t given up her love of coffee or chocolate-covered almonds. I am curious about her now. What does she want to do next? I wonder what she’s learned from all this.
This blog is for her.