You know, I’m not sure anything has tugged on my heart strings quite as enthusiastically as starting the inevitable pack-up of my first child’s 0-3 month clothing (insert crazed mommy sob here).
I suspect that nothing could have prepared me emotionally for how it would feel to witness the speed at which my child is growing, and with every tiny, soft, sweet smelling item from his first wardrobe, I realize that, actually, from now on I’ll be living in a permanent start of sadness tinged joy. And so the new mom plot thickens.
How fast he’s developed and blossomed is only half of the reason that I feel so conflictingly blessed as a mother though.
Those wonderful first moments during pregnancy, labor and birth, as my son and I worked together as the ultimate life-giving and sustaining team, are, well, over. Slowly over time, as he explores and excites over life and learning, my role begins to take a back seat, leaving me permanently poised a step behind him, supporting but not always leading the way as I did in those first days when he entered my world.
How wonderful that is. And how heart wrenching too.
Watching my son grow is surely the greatest show on earth for me, and I arguably have the best seat in the house, one I can genuinely say I’ll never tire of, but as my heart softens towards him and his own journey, it also begins to harden into that of a loving, and necessarily accepting parent whose children give her more meaning that she knew possible.
And so, I find myself plummeted into this entirely new world of clinging to life-changing memories of my own, and forming new ones for us both simultaneously. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt stronger or more fragile. Certainly never more enriched. Certainly never more purposeful.
None of the baby books cover this, as far as I can tell. This new terrain, where I can’t seem to keep from looking back, empowered as I was by my birth experience and the sheer exhilaration of forging this new path into motherhood, and ultimately into who I now am.
This new terrain where, looking onwards, also promises to create an ever-strengthening you.
After all, its not just the children who are born. A mother is born also. Continue reading