12 June, 2011

i never knew how much i'd like you

tonight you just wouldn't settle down to sleep. you nursed. you switched sides. nursed again. cried for daddy. he came to lie down next to you. you nursed again. daddy snuck away. you switched sides. i asked if you wanted to "rock rock" and you said yes, reached out your arms to signal that you wanted to be picked up, and then moved your arm back and forth pantomiming me vacuuming. this means you want me to hold you over my shoulder, hum 'all you need is love', and vacuum the bedroom. you fall asleep within seconds. i turn off the vacuum and lay you down on the bed. sometimes you roll to your side and drift right back to sleep while i gently rub your back. but most times you say 'milky' and i nurse you back to sleep. then i eventually sneak away. sometimes it takes longer than other times.

tonight while i was waiting to sneak away, i was thinking back to one particular walk when you were about six weeks old. it was a gorgeous fall day. you had been awak all day. which was normal. you never slept during the day. so this day i stuck you in the moby wrap and stuck it out through your protests and walked the neighborhood until you finally fell asleep. you had done that before but it would usually only last seconds. this time you slept for a long time. i braved it and came in the house. you stayed asleep through the door being opened and closed. i slowly lay down on the living room couch and you stayed asleep, all tucked in. you slept a while. i think i may have even slept. until i felt pee all over me and you were screaming.

back then your cries ran through me like someone was pumping acid through my veins. i reacted with every sense of my being. i couldn't cope with your crying. i had no idea what you were ever trying to tell me.

but these days, you so rarely have to cry to let me know what you need. we have gotten into such a groove. i understand your body movements, the words that maybe no one else can decipher, the looks on your face that can communicate just about anything.

i never imagined back then on that gorgeous fall day that we would get along so well. the moment i saw that little bubble that contained the embryo that contained everything you would become, i fell in love with you. from the moment you were conceived, even before that, i have done everything in my power to protect you and to help you to be the strongest and the healthiest and most loved little human you could be.

but yet, in the beginning, i didn't like you too much. i was terrified of you. i was terrified of not being able to calm you, of not knowing what you needed, what you were telling me. when you did sleep i would literally hold my breath so i wouldn't wake you. i didn't know how to keep you happy. and that was new for me. i had always known how to keep people happy (when i wanted to, that is). but you were different. i had no control over you. again. new. those first few months, i was afraid.

but these days, i love you just as much as i ever did. maybe even more. but even more that that, i like you. a lot. you are super cool and you make me laugh all the time. i love watching you decipher your world and explore every inch of it. you fascinate me just by being you.

and now i can sense that although i understand you differently now, it was that same personality in that little bitty baby body that i was so afraid of. i just hadn't figured you out yet. back then, i had no idea how much i'd like you.

05 June, 2011

who i am today

dear cooper

yesterday was your due date. you would have been three. three years old. and likely there would have been no mason. and i would have been a whole different person. i would not be who i am today.

i carried you inside of me for just over half of a term pregnancy. i held you in my arms for only ten minutes. but no other person in this world has ever had quite the impact you have had on me.

your birth changed me. forever.

over these three years i have pissed people off. i have lost friends. i have been mean. i have wished for bad things to happen to good people. i have begrudged people of their happiness. i have felt hate. and anger. and jealousy. and sadness. and despair. and hopelessness.

but i have also learned so much about love. and life. and yes it sounds cliche. but it's true. i have made new and wonderful friends. i have strengthened bonds with old friends. i have watched your big cousins grow up and admired their dad as he learns more every day about being their dad. i have had people thank me for talking so openly about you. i have had people thank me for pissing people off because along the way they have learned something they might not otherwise have known and their lives have changed because of it. i have had people tell me that people i don't even know have been affected by me and my ramblings. i have facilitated as sixth grade students raised thousands and thousands of dollars in your name. and then walked five miles in your honor. and in honor of brothers and sisters they have lost that their parents only told them about once they heard about you.

all of those people who have thanked me or encouraged me, they have you to thank, little baby boy, not me.

i am honored that you chose me.

you weighed one pound and six ounces. you lived for about 600 seconds.

you changed me. you changed others. you have changed a little piece of the world in a way that i could never have dreamed.

i remember thinking, before meeting you, that once i had babies i wouldn't let that change me. you would fit into my life and i would go on living as i had always done, but with you by my side. i would go back to work, of course. i would still go out with my friends. i would continue living my life. you would fit into it.

but after you were here and then left so quickly, my whole focus changed. my life changed, so the life you would have had to fit into no longer existed. so once your brother was born, he met a whole different mom from the one you knew.

today i am consumed by motherhood. it is who i am. i do not mourn the loss of that other woman. or of her life. i do not feel the need to hold on to something that no longer is. this is me now. i am your mother. i am mason's mother. it's what i do. and it's what i do best. it's what i love to do. what i live to do.

so thank you again, baby boy. thank you for choosing me as your mother. i only hope that we can meet again in this lifetime. i hope you are still hanging around waiting to be held again in my arms. and know that if you are, if you choose to come back to me, you will meet a whole new mom but feel that same love again. only this time i'll be crying tears of happiness.