I Found Me, Because of You
SIx years ago today, I became a mom. You, made me a mom. A first time a mom. After 39 years of living without you, you arrived. I was closing my eyes today and channeling what that day felt like. I can definitely remember the holy cow next level pain, and I do remember how calm I remained. I feel like I was in this zone- and it was you and me and we were going to make your entry calm. And we did, somehow we did just that.
I was picturing how there were so many unknowns and thoughts those early days with you. I remember when you first hiccuped that led me to a frantic Google search because I didn’t know SO many things. I remember the hours upon hours, just watching you sleep. I remember feeling like a warrior putting you in the stroller ALL BY MYSELF and walking to my first Mommy and Me group. I remember the times when nursing you, put us both at ease.
I also will never forget the solid 57 minutes you were crying in what felt like daggers coming at my heart when we were stuck in the car in the tunnel near LAX without a way for me to turn around or to just tell my sister I can’t pick her up and OMFG you’ll need to go get an uber I can’t get this baby to stop crying!! Under the tunnel meant no connection with the outside world. Bumper to bumper traffic, a screaming baby and that was the feeling of helplessness on steroids. That wouldn’t be the first time I felt like I couldn’t get you to stop crying. It is the worst feeling.
I feared losing myself, as we hear about that so often from new moms. In turns out --- I found me, because of you. Today, this holds true.
I found what “time” meant to me now when you entered the world. I found what was "worth" taking time away from you, and what simply wasn't worth it anymore. This meant letting go of relationships that didn't serve my new mama soul when I started to pay attention to how I was living and showing up in this world. This meant finding a way to be close to you, whatever it took.This meant leaning onto strangers that I met in mommy group —-who were wearing spit up drenched shirts too in the trenches with me and the spontaneous cryfest that happened more often than I can remember.
This new world felt like such a test those early days. A test to see how long I could go without sleep, how much I could function without rest. For five months, you barely slept more than a 2 hour run. Our schedule was up 5am, 7am, 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm ---**maybe a little 2.5 hour stretch for me to close my eyes, 9:30pm and the cycle continued. I felt tested in so many ways. I felt tested in how to be the wife and mother that kept up with laundry and the household chores. I felt tested in how to remain calm during that 4 month sleep regression and witching hours. Solo parenting it when Dad worked long days. You can’t erase those times of feeling that “fog” only a newborn can bring. Showers became less and less part of the day. But in all that, I found me.
Everything was SUCH a big deal as you started hitting your milestones. The first time you laughed, on purpose— HUGE DEAL. The first time you could grasp my hand back, queue the tears! That first rollover I caught on video and sent it to your Dad with so much pride— we were AMAZED. The first time you sat up, without falling over felt like a miracle. The first time you clapped and did "touch down" on queue. Those days are so foggy but also so clear.
We take for granted how those tiny daily miracles were so precious and celebrated. As a six your old today, I'm realizing the need to slow down with you. The mornings are now a race to kindergarten. The mornings are now when I get to take breaths (on a good day) so I don't lose my shit having to repeat myself to put on your shoes and "JUST FINISH YOUR BREAKFAST, WE GOTTA GO." And the stressful mornings when I guilt you or am not so nice and we rush to resort to eating in the car. I have to remember that these long days at kinder are new and there should always be time for a quick dance party in the car before drop off. I’ll work on that.
The things I did to feel like I can make it to bedtime so I could recoop and rest—- I had to skip pages in your storybooks when I've wanted to rush bedtime. I've let you binge on TV when I needed to get caught up on email....or collect myself by aimlessly scrolling on Instagram. Many times I questioned if I am doing the right thing, but you’ve never made me feel less than amazing. Not once.
When your sister arrived, you were still so calm. Not even two years old and you handled her entering our life (relatively) well. Now there's 2 kids in diapers, and at times two kids crying. Two kids who can't communicate their needs and a Dad that works 12 hour shifts but so hands on the moment he walks through the door.
The time feels like such a blink of an eye. Your legs are now long and lean. Your baby fat in your face is gone. Your baby teeth are still there, for now. Your laugh is EXACTLY the same. You still call lemonade, "lenomade" and I'm sure the day you autocorrect that a piece of my heart will be sad.
We can drop you off at school without walking you into Kindergarten. We can not hover over your meals knowing that you can be your own advocate to avoid peanuts and treenuts. We know your character buddy, and I'm so proud of who you are.
Maybe because your sister arrived and I felt those first 2 years of her life with you both were a bit of a blur. We had so many family crisis happen too, so that just makes things even heavier when I look back.
But when I look back, you've always been the constant calm. You’ve been the unconditional loving boy. You make me feel a love that is full and bright. The kind and thoughtful boy you are will take you far. How did I get so lucky, I am sitting here asking myself. You are thoughtful and you are kind and that is all that we can ask for. Yet, you give us so much more.
I know one day, you'll drop my hand when we are around your friend. I know one day, your room will be your sacred place where I'm not invited in the way I am now. Now, I'm invited to your entire world. An invitation that I probably don't realize how sweet it is, until they get fewer and further between as you grow up. But I know that you are in my heart and thoughts always and I know you know my love and support is with you always too.
I'm a proud of you son, I am one beaming mom. Thank you for coming into this world and giving me the me that I love to be.