Sunday, March 25, 2012

Firstborn

sols_5-years_w1 I'm writing every day in March as part of the Slice of Life challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Stop by!

I started working on this post as a poem (you can see my abandoned attempt at the end). It needed to be explored in prose instead.

I dropped Connor off with a friend today, to head out to a birthday party. As he darted off with barely a backward glance, I was reminded of all the moments – all the firsts – which I’ve experienced as a mother. While I know that there are so many more to come (he’s only ten); for some reason today’s goodbye made me feel particularly nostalgic.

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I was blessed with an easy pregnancy and a long but relatively easy labor. Connor was also an easy baby. He slept well, ate well, and gifted us with uncountable goofy faces. (Most of which were caught on camera – which I’m sure will be a great source of embarrassment to him when he starts dating.) We called him so many silly names as an infant, and sometimes I forget and still use them in front of his friends. Bad mommy… oh, wait… I’m “Mom” now.

He’s a sensitive soul, easily bruised and gentle. He wears his emotions so close to the surface, a trait that he inherited from me. I watch him venture further into his own world with each passing year, and I worry. Mothers are made to worry, I suppose. Will he make the right kind of friends? Will he learn to treasure his own special blend of strengths and flaws? Will his kind and gentle nature be an asset for him, or cause him to find a way to build walls around his heart?

Yet, in spite of all my worries, I continue to release him. I have to, of course. I can’t keep him under my wings forever. He needs to experience the scrapes and breaks and heartache that will come his way so that he can appreciate the love and laughter and joy. My mind knows it, but sometimes my heart rebels.

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I’m so proud of my little man. He’s curious, respectful, kind, and loving. He is learning to be more responsible with each passing year (and a lot of parental guidance, and reminders, about things like homework and violin practice). Still, some days I wish I could hold him tightly in my arms the way I did when he was just a newborn, and sing him a lullaby. I hope he knows that I will always be here for him. Wherever he roams, however he grows, whatever he becomes – he’ll always be that sweet little flutter inside of me, that goofy little baby with the silly faces, that amazing young man with the sensitive soul.

First…
First…
Round of morning sickness
                Flutter inside
Stretch mark
                Person who declares, “You have a glow about you.”

First…
Contraction, timer in hand
                Panicked call
Trip to the hospital

First…
Glimpse of my child, first tears to fall.
                Soft kiss on his forehead


This is the point at which I abandoned the poetic format and went for prose instead. 

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