Thank you for the comments on the last post and for everyone that took the time to e-mail me. I really appreciate it. It was inspirational to me to learn about all the single Moms, soon-to-be empty nesters, and never been pregnant women that read my blog. If I didn't read strangers' blogs myself, I would say something along the lines of, "I can't believe you read the crap that I write," but then I remember that I would be lost without my daily reads.
In honor of all of the love that I got over the weekend, I thought that I would share some.
Before I had Zac, I read every parenting book that I could get my hands on. The overriding themes of these books seem to say, "Don't worry about the dishes, the laundry, or showering, just enjoy the special moments with you and your new baby!!" This theory might actually work if you have someone (or a whole team of someones) to do the dishes and laundry for you and to watch your baby while you shower. It also might work if you can stop freaking out long enough to recognize that your baby loves you unconditionally and that you are exactly what your baby wants and needs. Oh, and you're also supposed to fall instantly, madly in love with the creature that lived inside your uterus for nine months.
For me, it didn't work like that. I was so afraid that I didn't know what I was doing that I was numb to Zac's beauty and the love I felt for him. I couldn't appreciate his perfect fingers and little nose, his blond hair and the snoring sounds he made when he fell asleep while nursing. I was little more than ambivalent to him, especially after three months of waking up every hour-and-a-half to nurse him. I would get scared when I thought he needed me. Certainly I couldn't be the mother, the woman, the caretaker he needed, I thought. It was easier to let someone else pick him up and comfort him, even though I was wracked with guilt. I felt like I knew what motherhood was supposed to feel like. I should be enamored with him! I should never want to leave him!!!
Then he and I moved into our own apartment and there was no one else there.
It was just us.
and I fell in love with him.
I love the way he stands up in his crib, shaking the bars, crying, holding his arms out for me to come and pick him up. I love the way he dances, rocking back and forth, while his toy turtle plays little snipets of songs. He laughs and wants to be around me - all the time. I still struggle to enjoy those moments, especially when I would rather e-mail in peace, yet there is a sense of calmness about it.
I can now imagine loving him for the rest of my life. Watching him grow into the man that I see inside him. I can imagine going to parent-teacher nights and being with him the first time he rides a bike all by himself. I can imagine high school homecoming games and waiting up for him to come home from a school dance. The panicky feelings are still there, but they are more subdued, more tempered by the fact that I can see my future intertwined with his.
One day, hopefully after I'm dead, when Zac reads this blog, I hope that he can see that this is the period where I let go of my fear and opened my heart to him completely.
I love you, Peanut.