When I found out I was pregnant nearly four years ago at the ripe age of 22 I jumped into the notion of having a newborn wholeheartedly. From the day I pee’d on a stick in a public washroom, hours before my work shift began I was ready. The first signs of life growing within me began, I was prepared to nurture, care and love a tiny innocent pile of mush with needs and basic human actions that would require my undivided attention every minute and hour of each day.
I was prepared to give everything I was for these tiny cells rapidly forming every piece that eventually created this tiny human being I now watch run around, and who tells me he loves me “a toppa the Moon”.
I was prepared for the interrupted sleep, the bodily functions, the clutter, the postponed meal times, and the loss of identity that comes along with a new born.
However, the notion of having a toddler somehow escaped me in my in-depth internal planning. Having a newborn consumed my pregnancy and blinded me to the fact that I was indeed giving birth to a person, a person who will grow into a man. I thought less of the Journey and more of the task at hand. I forgot that time escapes me, I forgot to account for the lack of control I have over stopping the days that seem to slip through my fingers.
I sit here, nearly three years after I gave the fight of my life that it took to bring my wild haired, well mannered, sweet, silly charming, teenager of a toddler into this world and wonder How?
Being a Mother is different for everyone, and a story we can all relate to on one level or another when each of us speaks. I cannot tell you how infuriated it makes me to be a part of this community and read everyones opinions to take each other down because everyone does something differently. I am not qualified to speak about motherhood simply because I am a mother, But I can tell you what it’s like to be the Mother of my own Son.
Being Cohen’s Mother is as natural as it can be. I feel like he’s been here all of my life, a piece of my heart I didn’t know was missing until he wrapped his tiny wrinkled fingers around mine on March 13th, 2011. I look at him today and reflect on everything we’ve endured over the past few years. How the actions of myself and his Father pour out of him like a mad scientist. It astounds me the memory this child has for being two years old. He recalls memories from last summer, From his second birthday, Conversations from when we first moved into our home January of last year. Every night before bed we reflect on what we did today, and the plans for the next day. He can pick up my emotions before I can most days and the reality of that has shaken me to the core.
His compassion breaks my heart in the sweetest way and brings me to tears on a daily basis. He wipes my tears and mater of factly tells me “it’s okay, sometimes things just happen!” the pride I feel for him sends me over the moon.
His indépendance is a blessing, and his imagination is forming before my very eyes. He’s calm to a fault and it’s a rare day he throws a tantrum. The days he does though, because it’s so out of character throws us all for a loop because it’s unexpected. He acts older than he is and even when ask him how old he is he will tell you he is five. It’s hard to remember that we’re dealing with a toddler who sometimes has a hard time expressing his frustration and lashes out. Those are the days I doubt my abilities, the days that aren’t always rainbows and smiles. Those are the dark days that often go unmentioned.
However, I was not prepared for the overwhelming love I would feel as I watch him crawl into bed after a scary dream, or the content feeling I would get popping popcorn for a family movie night. I was not prepared for the amazing feeling of purpose when I watch my Son slide down the waterside by himself at the local pool. I was not prepared for the sense of being a whole as a family until the day he was born and I looked into his father’s eyes and thanked him over and over for the gift we made together.
I was not prepared for a child, But I’m sure glad I wasn’t because learning every step of the way with my once Baby has been the greatest treasure I will ever discover.
The days are long, but the years are short. I feel like time is slipping away from me and the days of him cuddles up next to me are going to be gone before I know it.
The don’t prepare you for the kind of heartbreak only a growing child can provide. Parenting can be so bittersweet in that regard. This post is meant to serve as a reminder that even on the worst of days remember a moment, just a single moment that you experienced in the run of the day that you never ever want to forget. It makes the frustrations seem trivial and your heart glow.