Friday, May 10, 2013
How many times have you heard about the overwhelming love that overcomes new mothers when they are first handed their infants after birth? I have watched it a thousand times on "A Baby Story" and in countless movies. All my life I have heard these accounts and assumed that it would happen to me. The whole time I was expecting Colin I was anticipating the greatest love of all, the love between parent and child, to come over me like a tidal wave and I would experience pure bliss.
That is not how it happened for me.
I will spare you the details of Colin's fairly normal birth story. Most of you already know them. Why don't we just cut to the moment when the nurse held up my beautiful child seconds after he was born. I was waiting for the crush of love. Instead I felt a wave of fear, exhaustion and relief that the whole thing was almost over. I remember thinking, why aren't they cleaning him off? Then thinking, what is wrong with me? I looked over to Dave and saw the look of amazement on his face and thought, he is getting the crush of love, where is mine?
We took Colin home with us, with the usual thoughts of why, in the name of all that is holy and just, did they think that Dave and I were capable of keeping this child alive, and where the heck was the owners manual? It was February in Ohio and we were driving in our little Honda Civic that amplified every pothole and crack in the highway. I remember snapping at Dave for hitting them on purpose. I waited for the wave thinking that now that we were really in charge it would come, but instead I was grouchy at best. Happy and loving was not even on my radar. I knew that I loved him, and I knew that he was ours, and the love that I felt for him was much different than any other kind of love I had for anyone, but it wasn't the crushing love I had been waiting for my whole life. Certainly there was something horribly wrong with me.
As time went on, my love for him grew, and every once in a while I get hit with the wave. Yesterday was one of those days. Colin earned the opportunity to attend the Reading and Writing Festival that is held for area kids that read seven books and write a sort of book report to go along with it. Since it was held on the campus where I work, I decided to go for a little bit and see what it was like. I walked into the session that was already going on and sat in the back. It was a talk by an author of several of the books that were on the required reading list, and the theatre style room was dark. It took me about five minutes to find him and then I just sat and watched. There is nothing quite like watching your child when he is not aware of what you are doing. Over the next 40 minutes, I was hit by wave after wave of crushing love. I was watching his reactions to the story the author was giving, and seeing him interact with his friends. I thought over the last 13 years and all we have been through and I got choked up. It may have taken me a while to get where most people are instantly, but my, have I made up for lost time. There are no words for it. He is not just my child, he is a piece of my soul.
Colin, thanks for making me a mother, and I will love you always.