Having a kid is a lifelong contract. Like this is forever. Locked in and no keys. And I love it, even on days that I don’t.
I am a gushy person but also realistic. I’m the one that snickers when somebody gives the “don’t go to bed angry” advice at wedding showers. Or when a soon to be mom is tricked into believing that the bouncy seat they just received will keep their little lovebug from crying all night and day. Its adorable that they feel comforted by these things and soon enough, they will realize the things that do work for them and will settle into their new roles. Who knows, maybe they will be the couple that works it all out by bedtime each controversy that arises! And maybe that lady’s kid will be an angel! For the sake of these fictional people of whom I speak, I hope that it works out in the way they envision it.
For each of my three children, I was in a different place in life. Sorta the Goldilocks version of motherhood. Too young, too old, just right. Too immature, almost there, just right. However you want to look at it, things were different each time. And each time, I loved it with every cell in my body. I really enjoyed being pregnant, swollen ankles and giant ass and all. I just felt like I was the only one in the world that could be doing something that mysteriously magical. I mean how could it be possible that billions of women all over the world were also capable of being so important as to actually create life? Each birth and subsequent story of growth (mine and theirs) has brought me more smiles and frowns than there are leaves on trees.
So today I am spending my recouping from hysterectomy sacred alone time with my baby. My sixteen year old baby. She had the audacity to need her impacted wisdom teeth surgically removed during my time. The time that was dedicated to finding my new normal without girl parts. She has had this tendency to steal my thunder since birth. Like her induction was originally scheduled for my birthday, until I said “ummm no? That’s MY birthday???” and had her delivery date moved up three days. Then I nursed her until she was a year old. The nerve of her to demand that we snuggle up several times a day in a bond like no other. And there was the constant demand to be fed which was met with me whipping up homemade baby food and storing it in little cubes in ice trays so that I could mix and match her meals. And now I have to get up from the comfort of my recovery couch spot complete with my favorite drinks and snacks and Grey’s Anatomy reruns to hang out with her on beach chairs in the sunny back yard? She’s really pushing it.
In between getting her new ice packs for swollen cheeks and trying to remember her med schedule in combination with mine, we have chatted. Not so much about deep, personal feelings. But both of us noticing and commenting on the beauty of the nature around us, the incredible weirdness of our puppy, the mucky water being splashed on us by said weird puppy, the options of soft foods available for lunch. Nothing that will alter either of our world views. But it means the world to me. When she was younger, I wrote a contract that made her legally bound to still love me AND talk to me AND hang out with me when she was a teenager. She signed it and it is still in a drawer in my room. I am quite certain the courts would uphold its legality but the good news is that I haven’t had to pursue it yet.
Her sweet soul has stolen my heart, locked it up, and thrown the key in the creek, buried in layers of mud and gunk and love.