There’s an electric excitement around here today. The family is elated and all moods are elevated. We have something to celebrate. Today our youngest, wildest, and most vivacious in the bunch turns five years old.
But ironically, the house is quiet. Mama is alone. It’s early but the celebration is already bandwagoning to a party destination and I await my own to-do list alone. This silence reminds me of the morning he was born. The biggest, most important day of your life, when your heart is loud with love and your mind your mind is filled with the curiosity of this event and this tiny person you’ve awaited who is suddenly in your arms.
After the pain, the moans, the calling out in pain, after the frantic nurses, the rapid movement of contractions thwarting your body racing, after the demands of push push, after every sensation of fear, and horror, and excitement settles, after the labor is replaced by first cries, laughter, tears and joy….
Its almost like you blink and everything falls silent. Or in my case, woke up after a huge morphine nap in the silence of a hospital bed.
But regardless of your labor story, there’s those quiet moments in the post partum room, when you find yourself alone in your thoughts, other than this grunting, squeaking, tiny person of few words. I remember staring at him in the warm morning light that peeped through hospital blinds on unto his fresh little face.
Who is this little person? Who are you, my son? How will we grow together? How will you change my life? Will I do okay by you? Am I gonna mess this up? Am I worthy? These are questions mothers continue to ask no matter how many years go by.
As a second time mom, I already knew that it only gets better, and then harder, and better and harder and on and on. But amidst the energy of this big moment, theres quiet.
So here in my home I feel that similar sense of silence and excitement and the warm hug of August’s early heat. Alone in my thoughts.
Last night I cried over him. He rolled his eyes at me, honestly. But I cried and cried holding him. In that moment, I regret every mean thing I’ve said to him, every time I’ve lost it and in the bottomless grit of motherhood, acted in a way that was not kind to my child. I regret all the ways I’ve let him down, all the times I could have done better. This is kind of a dark approach to the whole sentimental thing, but its an honest one.
He is a difficult one, this little Leo of mine. He is aggressive, highly intelligent and fearless; basically, he does not give a fuck… that its time to eat, that its time for bed, that we don’t hit people with sticks… So this makes for some really challenging times. And as a second time mother let me tell you that nothing that worked with your first kid works for your second kid. Its a whole new ball game.
And so in my darkest times I’ve lost my way in holding my composure and my ugly side shows. Sometimes I’ve said horrible things under my breath or even in my head that I’m ashamed of. And against this high standard I hold for myself, this is a really hard, but important thing to admit. There might be someone out there who knows what I mean. I can’t be alone in that. And fortunately as he is maturing type of struggles will wane. Things have already gotten immensely easier and I can see in his actions that he wants things to go a bit smoother than they have in the past.
And I tell you what theres been a lot of fucking good times too.
My son is an empath, he absorbs everyones energy in the room. He knows things about you that you probably don’t know about yourself. My son, is a brilliant creator. Give him a kitchen spoon, hair ties, tooth paste cap, clothes pin and tooth pick and he’ll build a contraption so elaborate you would want to patent it. My son, is an animal lover. He is learning to handle the things he loves with love, but not too much love. This is a tricky one. My son, is the yummiest sleeper I’ve ever seen. My son, can spend hours in a tide pool. My son, has a laugh so fierce and happy you’d wonder if its a laugh at all. My son, is a chocolate lover, he loves camouflage, he loves snuggles, and movies and fresh air and salt water, he was an early swimmer, enjoys heat, and sleepovers in his brothers room and walking and talking like his grandpa.
Today he is five.