Here's The Truth
The truth is, I've needed to take a shower for four days but haven't been able to find the time between your crazy growth spurt nursing schedule, your need at the moment to have me in your line of vision at all times, and your daddy being in and out of town.
I would gladly trade in the most luxurious, leisurely bath to be available when you need me to nurture you. I may have to draw the line at day five, though. How do you feel about taking a steam in the bouncy for 5 minutes?
The truth is, I wish sometimes that we'd been able to have you 10 years ago, so you wouldn't have to be the one with the 56-year old mother at graduation.
If I'd had you 10 years ago, you would have had to traverse with us that precarious period where we went through about two levels of "adult growing pains" each, where we were - let's just say it - pretty screwed up. Our priorities shifted, as well as our temperaments and parts of our personalities, as we came to realize the people we really wanted to be. I'd like to think one advantage to having older parents will be that your life will be much more chill than shrill.
The truth is, I'm not a lithe-limbed, creamy-skinned, heel-clad, mermaid-tressed, artfully-styled young mama who can post yoga poses of kissing you while upside-down.
But you don't care. You could care less if I've worn the same shirt for two days or haven't brushed my hair since last night or am wearing four hair ties on my wrists instead of jewelry because I need to always have one ready so you don't pull my hair out. You don't care that I'm not yet as limber as I once was, or that I have tiny lines across my forehead. Your eyes say mama even though your lips can't yet, and that love makes me feel pretty damn good.
The truth is, your daddy and I still fight. Not a lot, but we kind of secretly wanted it to magically stop the day you were born so you'd never have to see an argument between us as long as you lived.
This was naive of us, but I think we each wanted to avoid repeating things from our childhood - which, what parent does not wish to do that? The fact is, you're going to see conflict. But we're going to do our best to make sure you also see two people resolving conflict in as healthy a way as possible, without disrespecting each other. If we can manage that for you, I'll be happy.
The truth is, I have developed this horrible habit of not wanting to have my picture taken. I still don't quite feel like my old self, and as much as I hate it, I've actually had moments where I shied away from being "in the picture" with you because I feel so self-conscious about not being what I want to be for myself and for you.
This, I've determined, is completely, unforgivably stupid. I want you to be able to look back and see US, together. Why in the world would I not want you to see that your mama loved you, carried you, tickled you, kissed you, hugged you? I'm ditching this hangup, pronto. For God's sake, I'm almost 40 years old...time to live like I don't give a you-know-what.
The truth is, when daddy takes you to play, I sometimes go upstairs into the bathroom, sit on the counter, close my eyes in the dark and just breathe in and out through the silence for 5 minutes. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I don't.
It's not that I can't handle this, or want a break from it. Not for more than those minutes. It's just that I let the worry, anxiety, stress, and exhaustion build inside like all mothers must do to carry on strong through their days...and like popping bubble wrap, it feels so good to get it out for those few moments. But after that, I hear your muffled shrieks of excitement through the floor, and can't wait to come down and find out what is making you so happy and see your big toothless grin as I come back into the room.
The truth is, a few times I've caught myself scrolling through something on my phone when I could be looking down at your sweet sleeping face in my lap and felt a brief wave of panic that I just missed out on something I can never get back.
There's not much that prepared me for how much your slumbering cheeks could send ripples of emotion through my spirit. Yes, logically I know I don't need to feel guilty about texting a friend back or liking a baby bat video while you're napping, but I am also acutely aware that moments are speeding by and I need to open my eyes as often as I can to slow them down. This moment from while I typed this sentence is gone, where you shifted and grunted in your sleep. Some day you won't want to be so close all day long. Some day, you'll turn and walk out the door.
And the truth is?
I love you.
One more hug.
The Village Journalist, Melissa Glenn