Happy 18th Birthday Kam!
If I am speaking honestly, I was never really sure about becoming a mother. As a girl I always loved babies but I never had dreams of being a mother. I wasn’t sure if I would be a good mother, and I also thought I would spend my twenties traveling the world so who had time to think about kids? Life often takes us all in different directions than planned and this direction was my greatest gift.
My something beautiful spent nine months relaxing, really didn’t give me many problems after the first trimester, but wore me down during the last. So much that I called him the 10 month baby, he refused to enter the world without force. Born beautiful, skin smooth, head full of black hair that was always perfectly slicked down on his head, nails, eyes alert, partial dimple and a lovely brown hue on his skin. He only cried when he was wet or hungry, slept for what seemed like forever during the day until he slept through the night. He was an easy, happy baby, my first smile in the morning and the last at night.
Nobody ever tells you how quickly the stages in a child’s life change and how much you should cherish them all because when they are over they are over. We want them to crawl, then walk, talk, but we don’t realize as these milestones are reached they are growing older. Then you wake up one day and you realize that the child that changed your life is now transitioning into a young man. Where did the time go? Its funny babies are easy, you are the only influence in their life, they eat, sleep, poop, and repeat. The real work and emotional worry starts when they begin school. You worry about other kids, teachers, bus drivers, is the cafeteria food healthy, who gave them a black eye and if you can go and beat a child up for them. Has anyone touched them inappropriately at school, in the family, at the gas station, during camp?
As teens you worry about a girl breaking their heart, friends, fake friends, stressful family situations, and now the police. Every time they walk out the door you worry. But what do you do as a mother? You do your best, and know in doing your best you will fuck up some shit, plain and simple. You will get some things wrong, you can’t protect them from everything, and at the end of the day they don’t belong to us. Our job is to guide them, teach them to be kind by example, have compassion for others, love themselves and follow their passions. We instinctively want to protect them from the awful in the world and the people that are in their closest circles that are a constant negative influence, but the reality is we can’t and the time comes when they must learn on their own.
The love that seems to instantly overwhelm you at the exact second a child is born can’t be explained. You want to love them and in the same sense kill anyone who comes near them, anyone, for any reason, or for no reason at all. Only mothers understand this feeling, because we have been blessed with the ability to carry life, the responsibility should never be taken lightly, or taken for granted. As hard as it is to admit motherhood is the ultimate sacrifice, it’s the hardest job and the healthy loving support of the family unit is critical in nurturing well-adjusted children. For everyone who had assisted in being that village I say thank you. As my little something beautiful celebrates his 18th birthday today while attending college orientation I reflect on the challenges you have experienced and successes you have celebrated. I ask the universe to open your eyes and see your brilliance that has shined from the day you took your first breath. Your goals and aspirations have already been secured, work hard, stay focused and you will achieve them and make yourself proud.
For the mothers dealing with the reality of gradually clearing the nest I see you. The paranoia of what they will face keeping you up at night, I hear you. And for the mothers who will never experience these moments because the lives of your children were cut short, my heart breaks for you and I send you love. Wishing all of the young adults walking out into the world with hesitation, self-doubt and feelings of confusion words of strength and encouragement. You were born perfect, destined to do great things, lead with love and kindness, follow your heart and make yourself proud first!
Nyri completely un-nerved, un-glued, and a complete emotional wreck today!