It wasn’t love at first sight. On Sunday, July 13, 2008 when I rushed to the hospital to find that I was in labor, panic set in. This was really happening. And it was REALLY happening NOW! I wasn’t ready.
When I held my son for the first time I didn’t love, but rather, the weight of responsibility. Having come into the world six weeks sooner than expected, it is an understatement to say I was ill prepared. All I could think was “we didn’t even have the baby shower yet!”
I laid in that hospital bed literally trying to figure out how to make a dollar out of 15 cents, wondering if his dad and I would work things out and thinking of how we would get home. Love, was the furthest thing from my mind.
Like most new mommies, I went home and tried to figure it out. I stepped into my new role with caution. I wanted to be intentional about everything I did. I didn’t just want to be a mom, I needed to be the best mom. All my child needed was to be fed, clothed, changed and held. This I learned quickly.
I read somewhere that its easy for parents to love the children that are most like them. But for me, I think I love my son the most because he is unlike anyone I’ve ever met. He’s not my mini-me. He is courageous, confident, humorous, intelligent, friendly, caring, generous, and articulate. He’s not afraid to ask for what he needs and when he asks, he is certain that he will receive it. This is not something, within six years, I could have learned or taught him. He’s well liked among his peers, observant of their behaviors and concerned about their well-being. He takes joy in helping others and does so often. Everyday he teaches me what REAL love is. Not because I deserve it, but because that’s who he is.
I value our relationship. We are not a traditional pairing. We talk about everything as we are both full of questions. Last night, we talked about heaven. He was curious as to what happens after you die. (I should mention here that we recently saw the movie Heaven is for Real. Great film!) He says, “So if you go to heaven when you die and heaven’s in the sky, why do they put the people in the ground?” Rather than fill his head with my beliefs, we talked about different theories of which he had several. He settled on “maybe they wait in the ground until its their turn to go to heaven.” He smiled after he said it as if he now had all the answers to life. I smiled too. We held hands until he fell asleep.
Nights like this make me appreciate the responsibility I dreaded in the delivery room. Going through all those embarrassing mommy moments helped me to be the type of mother I am today. I guess the take away here to appreciate life, don’t sweat the small stuff, love your kids or any other cliché’ you can think of when it comes to parenting. But, I guess I just wanted to take the time, outside of any special occasion to say I love my son and I’m glad I’m his mom.