Fourteen years ago, I was in a hospital, blissfully hooked up to all kinds of wonderful pain killing drugs because I had no idea about the concept of back labor.
This was not the first time I had been in labor. A month and a week earlier, I had been in the same hospital having my early labor stopped through drugs that made me tremble and quiver. However, for an extra five weeks, the Boy was able to incubate and finish off the various last stages of prenatal development that was important to keep him in me and keep him safe.
He still ended up arriving three weeks early; what was supposed to be the perfect birthday present (he was due on my birthday) ended up still being the perfect birthday present…only three weeks early.
I knew I was a mother well before a pregnancy test circa 2000 could have told me. I knew without having to even pee on a stick that something wonderful was happening within me and I was merely a vessel for this incredible experience. Sure enough, when I had waited enough time, I wasted about ten bucks, took a test, “failed it,” and told my husband that we were going to be parents. He didn’t handle the news very well. I don’t remember the fight/argument…I remember him leaving the house and coming back several hours later to me washing the dishes. He was wonderful, though. He brought me two dozen long stem roses tied with pink and baby blue ribbons. I still have some of the roses; they are a constant reminder that I am loved.
Pregnancy with the Boy was not horrible and far from easy. At week 20, I woke up, went to the bathroom, and saw that I was bleeding. Not huge amounts, nothing gushing. But I was bleeding. I remember lying on the floor, just outside the bathroom because I had read somewhere that if you are bleeding that you are supposed to lay down and…..I can’t remember.
I prayed. I sobbed with God. I wanted to make deals but didn’t because I didn’t believe in making deals with God. I begged and sobbed and begged some more. And, eventually, the little wonderful that was curled up in my belly stirred and I knew that my baby was alive. This was the day when I learned I was having a boy…which I had already known without someone telling me.
Eventually, after several weeks of bed rest followed by pre-term labor which resulted in full bed rest until I went into labor….I had my Boy.
He is my odd-baby. Born on 3-9-01 at 7:51, he is all odd numbers and odd angles. He was born while a Simpsons episode was on television, at the point when Mr. Burns declared that he would donate a million dollars if he saw a pig fly….that is when a grotesque, squirming, squealing creature was pulled out of me and laid upon my stomach.
Yeah…I wasn’t that great of an immediate maternal person…but then I saw past the scrawling appendages and the patina of blood and birth fluids and I saw him.
And I fell in love at second sight because I was a mom and he was my Boy and love was an instant and powerful surge through my veins. I shyly reached out for the infant that was crying on my jiggly belly that was suddenly empty and I started laughing and crying at the same time, these incredible hiccup-sob-laughs that expelled all the emotions I had within me.
By the way, the last thing I said to my husband just before I started pushing was, “I love you.” I looked him in the eye and said, “I love you.” Because I refused to be the stereotypical woman who was full of hatred and animosity on this incredible day. This is supposed to be the best day of our lives….I was not going to have it tainted with me screaming obscenities at him. Of course, I also had an epidural which helped with removing the pain.
But I would have loved him through the pain anyhow. Because he helped us have a wonderful and beautiful boy.
The Boy’s first Christmas….I don’t remember much of anything…except “Daddy Bear.” Pat bought the Boy a teddy bear at Wal Mart which the Boy immediately fell in love with and called “Dad Dub.” I decided that the Boy was clearly saying “Daddy Bear.” Nearly 14 years later, Daddy Bear is still on the Boy’s bed. Love has never left his side.
I love the Boy. I love him no matter what happens, even when he makes mistakes which makes our lives move from beautifully straight and easy to follow lines to fragmented, crooked paths that double back on themselves and get me lost within my frustration. I love him for no other reason than he is the Boy and he is kindness and gentleness and compassion.
Is he flawed? Duh.
Is he perfect? Thank God, no. I couldn’t handle having a child constantly disappointed in his mother because of her multiple (million) flaws. I rather enjoy embarrassing him. I don’t want him to grow up to the tune of how much he can complain about his mother letting him down.
13 has been a bit of a difficult year. But I have promised the Boy that I would never use the blog to embarrass him, list all of his mistakes, or vent and post material that he would rather not have released to the world. I will not miss 13, a year of testing and learning that boundaries do exist and when they snap back they sometimes hurt.
But 13 has also been a year when I realized that I can’t wait until the Boy is an adult and I can stop seeing him as the Boy and see him as the Friend. Already, we have fantastic discussions ranging from religion to philosophy to politics to history to life to….life.
Happy Birthday Boy. Happy 14th year. I hope and pray for you that you will have 365 consecutive days of joy and happiness and contentment. I hope that you will not evaluate your wonderfulness based on your weight or your height or the grades you earn (but please don’t fail or get D’s…you can do much better than that). I hope you will look in the mirror and see the beauty of your blue eyes that are trusting and trustworthy and curious and brilliant with the spirit within you. I pray that you will continue to grow into the excellent young Man I have seen and written about already.
Happy Birthday Boy. I love you. I’m proud of you. Never forget that. No matter what you might do, no matter what mistakes you might make, I am proud of you. And will always love you.