Saturday, April 07, 2007

17 Years

17 Years ago I was ready, naive but READY! We'd been married over 6 yrs. and I would've been perfectly happy to have gotten pregnant on my wedding night... I couldn't WAIT to be a Mom. After all, I knew what to expect. I'd been babysitting since I was 11. Not just ANY babysitting mind you, but being a member of the Mormon Church is like having a black-belt in babysitting. Taking on 2, 4 even 6 kids at one time, sometimes for a week while their mother accompanied their father on a business trip... Which meant getting 5 lunches made and the baby packed off to the sitters house... Walk the kids to their school, my sister and I just barely making it to our school in time for the first bell. So ya, I knew what I was in for... But the best part was, this wasn't someone elses kid... This was one of my very own, my husbands and my own flesh and blood. Who would he look like? What would his temperment be? Was it a he or a she? 9 Months is an eternity when you have my extreme lack of ability to be patient. 17 years ago the nurse walked into my hospital room and informed me that it was time to push... However, having received an epidural meant it would most likely be another couple of hours before the baby arrived... Well, let's just say that I told her in no uncertain terms that I'd waited too long for "another couple hours" of waiting and pushed my son into the world in under 30 minutes. I told you I lacked patience!

17 years ago I became a Mom. I'd like to say it was the single most beautiful moment of my life... Instead I was confused. I really thought I was having a girl? Isn't that what all of the prognosticators told me?... "Oh, you're just destined to have a girl... You're such a girly girl yourself."... or... "You're carrying a girl, I can tell by the way you're carrying."... or... "I had a dream it was going to be a girl." Funny, I had a dream one night that I gave birth to a litter of puppies... Sure, they were cute but I was so disappointed they weren't the baby I wanted so badly. So there I lay on the table, watching my husband hold his son for the first time and the smile on his face was bigger than any I'd ever seen. My thought, "Well, at least he's happy." This was a man so terrified of fatherhood when I'd grab his hand and place it against my belly in order to feel the baby kick [at which point the baby would immediately stop moving] he would say, "I KNOW something's in there, OKAY?!" Yet there he was, 17 years ago, holding his son close with all the care of a seasoned veteran. I lay there looking forward to the moment I would get to hold my baby close and bond with him but the nurses said he was having some trouble breathing and whisked him away before I could wrap him in my arms... The confusion mounted and a cloud of disappointment descended. This wasn't the way I pictured it? All those years I played the birthing scene over in my head, it never worked out like this? All I felt at that time was empty and kind of sad... and confused.

I can't remember how long it was before I left recovery and was given a hospital room, but it must've been at least 2 hours. Not long after that a nurse stuck her head in and asked if I was ready to have my son brought to me. I said, "Yes." but deep inside I was still confused and a little scared. What if I wasn't ready for this after all? What if, because of the emotions I had clouding my head, I wasn't cut out to be someones Mother? After all, the woman who gave birth to me was far from nurturing and that was the most frightening notion of all... What if I was like her?

A few minutes passed and in came the nurse with a tiny bundle in one of those clear plastic bins on wheels. She carefully lifted a soft, pink, mostly bald, baby boy from the layette into my arms and I looked into the most beautiful face I'd ever seen. Perfect in every way... This was THE moment... This is when I fell in LOVE with my son! There weren't any tears at the time, though there are now when I think back to that moment. There wasn't a choir of angels or the soundtrack of some shmaltzy Hollywood epic playing in the backround. The room didn't get any brighter nor the flowers suddenly burst into brilliant bloom. Quite simply, Love as I knew it grew by immense proportions that day, 17 years ago. It wasn't anything like I thought it would be, this thing called Motherhood. And No, I wasn't prepared... Not in the least. Who could be prepared for such a powerful force? How can someone prepare to fall in love so deeply with something so small and helpless that you've only just me? And how can you know at that time the love you feel will grow even greater and more profound as this tiny creature grows into a person.

17 years... It's gone by SO quickly. I remember many times when he was small, saying to myself, "I can't wait 'til he get's big enough to do this." ... or... "I wonder what he'll be like when he's this big, or that age?" I hope I didn't wish it away? It all went by with amazing swiftness. I LOVE him SO much and he's made me incredibly proud. He's enriched my life in so many ways. He's made me funnier, more patient, kinder, a better example, happier, more loving and given me so much to be thankful for. He's made being a mother better than I EVER could've imagined it would be... For that I'm very grateful.

Happy 17th Birthday Bubbie
Your Mom

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Blogger lime said...

happy birthday bubbie!

thanks for sharing that story with us all.

5:47 AM, April 08, 2007  

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