Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Something else happened in the last few months

I'm not sure exactly when, I'm not sure exactly how, but somewhere over the last two or three months I became a confident, loving mother.

Not that I didn't love my baby from the day he was born, but reading back on a few posts from difficult times (especially this one) instantly brought me back to the debilitating fear and consummate guilt that my lack of confidence in myself as a mother clobbered upon me.

I know I loved my baby the day he was born, and I know I loved him during the first couple (few?) really hard months. But no, I did not feel an instant or compelling deeper-than-anything-I've-ever-felt-before kind of love. Not for a while. Hence, the fear and guilt that slithered in next to unappreciated sleep deprivation to produce a daily outlook of crippling insecurity.

But it's there now. My ineffable love for my son now crashes down on me every day, in waves and with a force I never believed possible. My heart actually aches with love and my breath is caught in my throat when I look into his eyes, see his smile, hear his giggle.

I'm beyond relieved, but I'm also suddenly a stranger to myself. This is the same woman who probably would have been perfectly happy for years (forever?) without a baby, had Brian not pushed the issue and set the timeframe. The same woman who never wanted to hold babies, who found children and babies a nuisance. The same woman who, even when her friends had babies, still didn't ooh and aah over toys and clothes and coos and milestones. And the woman who always doubted her own ability to love a child adequately, the way a child surely deserves to be loved.

While I'm still not too keen on holding others' babies, I now find myself staring at babies and children whenever they are around to be seen, a hazy smile plastered across my face in observation. I fall apart everytime I see the Pampers' Silent Night commercial. And I can't imagine any course for my life other than to raise my son the best I can, always striving to learn more, do better and demonstrate my love and commitment more acutely.

But such great love carries with it a new and haunting fear that festers quietly in my soul, only breaking through to the surface and demanding acknowledgment when another family's tragedy sparks "what if" thoughts and cultivates the fear. But this is a commentary on the surprising power of profound love, so I'll squash that anxiety back down, while I celebrate loving my son.

Not only am I now a confident, loving mother -- increasingly comfortable in the role I'll grow into over the rest of my lifetime -- more importantly, I'm a mother confident in her love for her child. An overwhelming, impossible love, the likes of which I hope beyond hope he gets to experience himself some day.


nsees said...

Beautifully put!

C and M said...

It is a beautiful gift! Congrats!

Cayden said...

I never felt anything but absolute love since the very first moment I looked into your eyes, but I knew you had really turned the corner back in August when you admitted that I was cuter than Spike!

Jess said...

Just today I was rocking Landon to sleep, thinking of my love for him and I feel like I could have wrote the same "But it's there now" paragraph. Crazy, how much you can actually love someone. It blows mymind every day!!!