Thursday, September 8, 2011

The First Birthday Blues

Today is my son's first birthday, and well I really thought I would have spent most of the day reminiscing, going over every memory of that day. The day I had waited for, for what felt like so long. The day I finally got to meet my little guy face to face and see with my eyes the being that had been growing inside of me for nine months... But I didn't. Instead I spent most of the day allowing myself to become overwhelmed by insignificant things. I sit here typing away on my laptop at 9:04pm while he sleeps. His birthday is over. For him anyways. For me it just started.

My motherhood experience seems to crystallize for me at night after he's gone to bed. I have never been very good at living in the moment. I tend to have a fuller experience of an event when recounting it later, from a safe distance. It may be the writer in me, it may be that the emotions are too much to let run free in the moment they should be felt... or it could be that I'm just scared.

Either way, the fact of the matter is that a year ago today I gave birth to this amazing, awe-inspiring creature who today is walking, laughing and in the process of learning to clap his hands in joyous approval of the antics of his father and I. And remembering that isolated event is hard for me because, it was so, so, SO wonderful and scary in that incredibly rewarding and exhilarating way, but it transitioned almost immediately into many hard days, that lead to many hard weeks that made up several very trying months. Things didn't feel right for quite a while, and the fact that they didn't feel right just didn't feel right to me. It wasn't how it was supposed to be. I loved my son, with my whole entire heart. But it took time for me to grow the love that I now have for being a mother.

We didn't bond immediately. But we did bond.
We didn't recognize each other right away. But the recognition that occurs between us now is tangibly sweet.

And though I smiled and felt a kind of happiness on the day he was born it wasn't until later, looking back, that I experienced every one of the incredible, overwhelming, otherworldly emotions I had prepared to feel in the moment of his arrival. At the correct time.

Sometimes we need a delay, because we're not ready, despite our preparations, for the floodgate to open.

I sure wasn't ready today. But the damn has broken and the water is flowing freely now.

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