Saturday, December 06, 2014

The Firstborn

At times in this crazy journey that is parenthood I've had 4 kids under age four, 6 kids under six, or 8 kids under twelve.  I've had two or three or five kids in diapers.  I've breastfed 4 little ones at the same time.  (Well, not exactly at the same time... they took turns in pairs, obviously.)  I have a van full of car seats and yet I still remember what life was like with "just" one.

A few days ago I looked sincerely into the store clerk's eyes as she rang up my purchase and I told her how hard it was with one child.  It was.  I remember the fear that overcame me as I buckled tiny, newborn Matthew into his car seat twelve years ago.  I remember wincing with every bump in the road as I huddled over his seat in the back of the car, sure that he'd break if we didn't drive more slowly, while Jason took us home for the first time.  I remember spending my nights awake, watching him breathe, afraid to sleep for fear that something would happen to him.  I remember being shocked and scared that I was allowed to take this baby home, that I was responsible for his LIFE.  I remember the awful adjustment to sleepness nights, the awkward moments of breastmilk soaking through my shirt at work, the pain of leaving my baby, the overwhelming responsibility, and the realization that I was somebody's mother.  We survived potty training, weaning, and the toddler years.  He learned how to walk and talk and I learned how to let go a little bit.  I taught him to read and write.  He taught me to trust in my own instincts and accept my imperfections.  We both learned from our mistakes.  We both grew up.  And here we are, 12 years later, and I remember how HARD it has been sometimes but I am so grateful for this experience together.

Twelve wonderful, challenging, beautiful years...

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