Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mothers' Day!

I wanted a child. I don't know why I so desperately wanted one, but I did and I couldn't have one. I tried to tell myself that it was only my nature and instincts as a woman that made me want one. I tried to explain it away by thinking that maybe I only wanted one because I couldn't have one. Regardless of how I tried to rationalize it, it didn't make my want any less or my pain any less.

Then one day I decided that I would try one last time with fertility drugs and if that didn't work, I would get the counseling I needed to get past my grief and desire. I was pregnant after the first round. Pregnancy was weird. I felt weird. I felt girly, which I also filed into the category of "weird." I cried at commercials. I fell down a lot. I got migraines. I broke my foot (that may not have had anything to do with the pregnancy.) And through it all I felt ridiculously giddy. I don't think I've ever referred to myself as "giddy" in my entire life, but there's no other way to explain it. Looking back, it was kind of disgusting. I don't know how Jimi lived with me. Then he was born 9 weeks early. He couldn't eat. Like I was a child, they explained to me that his stomach was "sick." He became swollen and lethargic. I asked if he would be alright and they told me that they didn't know. He was too ill for me to even hold that day, and I so wanted the comfort of holding my son. That night, Jimi found me sitting in the nursery, weeping into little blue onesise that might never be worn. He was barely 2 weeks old and he had already altered my life for the rest of my life.

But he did pull through. He did come home. The day we first walked through the front door of our home with our new resident in tow, Jimi and I turned and looked at each other. After a moment of grinning goofily at one another, there was a moment of uncomfortable silence. "Now what?" I asked. It finally occurred to me that I had no idea what I was doing. Somehow I managed, though. And shockingly, it all seemed to become second nature to me. I decided that I would treat my son the way I wanted others to treat me. When it comes to discipline, I hate it, but I do it, and I do it consistently, because I love him and I want him to be a kind a loving person who respects himself and others.
Because of his ability to grow a full beard, he is often asked to play Santa.
I teach him and guide him and love him and in turn, he has taught me as well. Before he lived, I didn't understand that I could love someone unconditionally. I didn't really grasp what unconditionally meant. I've explained it to him like this, "Even when I'm sad, I love you. When I'm angry, sleepy, happy, hungry, I still love you. When I put you in time out I love you. I always love you. And I'll never stop." He sometimes reminds me, especially when he just got out of time-out, that I never stopped loving him. And I assure him that it's true. I cried the first time his feelings got hurt. It hurt my feelings, too. I've listened to a chorus of children sing "Wheels on the Bus" so many times that I fear I'll go insane if I have to sit through it again, but I will sit through it again....and again...and again.... I've rejoiced over pee that "almost" made it into the potty. And I've fawned over crayon doodles of fat-headed people with swirly lines for eyes and arms coming out of their faces. I stand in amazement of my son. Like many mothers, I feel that my son is the most talented, intelligent, beautiful, and interesting child that God ever had the pleasure of crafting. And all the suffering to get him here is worth it. The sitting up late at night with him as he burns with a fever is worth it. The fight to get him out of the bathtub at night is worth it. Whatever it is, it's worth it. And there's more to come and I can't wait.
Happy Mothers' Day!

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