(Written yesterday, before my other blog up and disappeared.)
Time is a slippery little devil.
Toopweets turns one today.
It feels like I was just standing in my bathroom, holding a little piece of plastic with two pink lines indicating that our lives were going to be forever changed. Just surprising our parents with the news by telling them that we were redecorating our guest bedroom, and, instead of showing them paint chips, as they expected, showing them a sonogram. Just having a sudden, total meltdown over my fear that I'd be an awful mother, due to my lifelong inability to tell if someone has a fever by kissing their forehead. (And, just as quickly recovering when I realized that we had Golden Grahams in the house.) Just hearing my son's heartbeat for the first time, and looking at J, wide-eyed, as the reality of what we were doing truly hit us. Just incorporating additional time into my morning routine for barfing (each and every day; none of this "first trimester" shit for me). Just waiting impatiently to start showing, and, when I finally did (at 6 months), happily racing home to tell J that someone had noticed my pregnant belly, and gotten up for me on the subway.
I can remember T kicking my ribcage constantly. I remember the predictions as to the baby's gender that everyone loved to make (we weren't telling). The scary night I spent in the hospital when I became dehydrated and the baby wasn't moving so much. The relief we felt when they hooked me up to a monitor, and his heartbeat came through, loud and strong. The quiet times when J and I would sit there, trying to imagine who this little person would resemble. I can remember the afternoon of May 31, 2006, when I went for my weekly checkup, and was told by my hottie OBGyn that I would not be having this baby for at least another week. I remember how my bathroom floor tiles looked up close, as I laid upon them much later that night, realizing that the pain I was feeling was due not to the four Morningstar Farms veggie burgers I'd just devoured, but the fact that this kid was on his way. And fast. I remember packing up my bag and turning to take one last look at our apartment, at the bits and pieces of our "old" life, knowing that when we came back there, it would never be the same.
But of course, that was over a year ago.
After T was born, I honestly wondered if I was going to be a good mom. The love I had for him was never a question, but my dubious ability to actually keep him in one piece, happy, safe, and reciprocating my love definitely was. Probably natural for someone whose attempts to change her child's diaper in the hospital required: (a) 20 full minutes; and (b) the assistance of her husband. There's no sugarcoating it: I was scared.
I suppose this is due to the fact that I've always been an obsessive planner. I need to know everything about what I'm supposed to accomplish, and have been known to make lists (and sublists) with many, many checkboxes; the more the better. And, perhaps that's the biggest lesson my son has taught me; that you can't plan everything with a baby. You can't control everything with a baby. You can't cross things off lists that you want them to do; you really just have to let the current take you along.
I mean, there was a time when I had visions of playing nonstop classical music and singing many fancypants lullabies to him. In the end, my musical stylings actually are a combination of the not-too-highbrow "Wheels on the Bus" and my original work, "Little Fat Baby" (which, in case you were curious, is sung to the tune of the Beatles' "Paperback Writer"). I stopped planning, and just started singing. And It doesn’t matter that they weren’t recommended by someone with a Ph.D. in…um, babyology. He loves them. And more importantly, me.
Though the thought of doing a good job raising a child in this world to be kind, self-sufficient and strong is daunting, I look forward to what's to come. Our lives have been immeasurably enriched by our son even in this short time. While the moments of the past year have not all been easy, each of them have led us up to now, making him who he is. He's a good kid, happy, content, and sweet. I feel incredibly privileged to be his mom, and I hope and pray that his life continues to be as blessed as it’s been so far.
Happy birthday, kiddo.