Last year, on May 11, I posted a blog about Mother's Day and how a comment had been made in my general direction about how I would be a mother this year. I'd like to say, for the record, one year later, that I honestly don't really feel like any more of a mother than I did then. I loved that baby with every inch of my life a year ago...it's just become an intensified, excessive, and sometimes arduous love. Last year I loved my mother. Last year she was the best mother I could have ever wished for. In past years she has been my friend, my confidant, my guidance, my protector.
I do not, personally, feel as though I have changed drastically over this last year. I adore my son in ways that I imagined I would before he was born. When they laid him on my chest, he stared up at me and I felt, in a way, that we were both old souls, and I'd been on a long journey to find those eyes. I had literally wanted him for as long as I could remember so to take him home felt, for the most part, very natural. So while I don't feel as though I have changed, I recognize tremendous growth in my mother. And by that, of course, I mean in my perception of my mother.
Last year she was my friend. This year, she is my hero. Sometimes, when Garrett is growing weary, he will sit, very still, in my arms. I say sometimes because, if you know my son, who is rapidly barreling toward his first birthday, you know that he is perpetual motion. So, on the rare occasion that he rests in my arms, I try to soak in his smallness. Yesterday, I was privileged to have one such incident. I looked down and his tiny hand was in my palm. And I felt, suddenly, very sorry. I wished, momentarily, that we could stay like this forever. In that minute, before he wiggled to keep himself awake, I thought of my own mother holding my tiny hand and wishing, just for a second, that we could stay like that. We couldn't. It's how life works and we know that. It's impractical and ridiculous and eventually, even if I'd complied, she would have had to get a drink or use the restroom. But I remember the day Garrett was born as if it was yesterday and something tells me that many of these memories do not truly fade. And if my mother's memory serves as well as mine, she can recall my tiny hand in her palm and sometimes, just maybe, those memories make her a little nostalgic. For to see your child is to watch, with very little control, your heart walking around outside your body. And that is the difference between this year and last.
So here is to my mom. For losing sleep all those nights. For changing a gazillion diapers. (Which, by the way, were not disposable). For getting barf on her clothes and baby food in her hair. For never throwing me out the window when I would not stop crying. And for all the things I am yet to be truly thankful for. Things like science projects and prom and taking care of me when I had the stomach flu and catching the chicken pox from me and not holding it against me. And now, for watching Garrett when I have work or dropping everything to ride down to Kaiser with me when he bashes his head open. For staying with me the night he was born so that Troy could get some sleep. For almost single handedly supplying Garrett's wardrobe. For being there, at the drop of a hat, then and now. While I believe that motherhood begins at conception, I also believe it's like a fine wine, it becomes more valuable with age and longevity.
Thanks, Mom. And happy Mother's Day.