December 12, 2013

He was meant for me, and I was meant for him.

I lay here with my little boy on my chest. I can hear his faint pants and feel his tummy bulge as he intakes his little baby breaths. His left ear is likely leaving an imprint on my chest just as this moment is leaving a mark of inexpressible joy on my heart. I hold him because he needs me to, he wants me to. This little one who's experiencing one of his first battles with pain in his new tiny human frame needs his mother near to comfort him. Being his mother I have never felt a joy so deeply about being needed.

Though finals week approaches and much still needs to be done, the art projects I've got sitting unfinished on my kitchen table can wait. Nothing is more important than this fleeting moment that will pass before I know it and I'll be longing for him to need me as he experiences the growing pains of his adult life. Yet then he'll want to do it on his own. He'll want to push through without me because he'll have found his independence.

I find myself being guilted by the pressures of the world to push him into independence. To teach him to be on his own, to make him get used to life as a single being. I find my thoughts wandering thinking that every time I coddle him it's going to have some lasting negative effect for years to come. That because I respond to his cries or hold him while he sleeps he will turn into a clingy, whiny child or an insecure adult. That he'll never learn to sleep on his own or know how to self soothe. These thoughts nag at my soul, and I can't even pin-point from where they come. As if me reading an article or two by some genius baby expert on baby sleep habits has become so ingrained in me that my mind is battling with my heart, telling me to put him down awake, to never let him sleep with me, never do this or claiming you need to be doing that. 

It's time that these thoughts and feelings flee because they are wearing me down. These things go against my very nature and how I personally desire to raise my baby. I want to hold him, he wants to be held, what can be so wrong with that? And so I've concluded, I will hold him because when this moment is gone, I can't get it back. When he grows and no longer needs me or no longer wants to be held, I will remember that I had my time, I had these moments. So I will enjoy as many cuddles as I can while I can. I will to listen when he cries and respond promptly because he'll learn that he is valued that he has a voice that will be answered. He will learn that he is loved and respected, that a family is a safe haven. The other things will come with time. He will sleep in his own bed, in his own room one day but I don't have to justify why he isn't doing that now. There's no reason to.

My sister-in-law told me something that has stayed with me, "Emerson was sent to you, to be your child and no-one else's because you were the only one who could be the mother he needs." I cherish that thought. I feel the guilt dissipate when I reflect on that. I've been given this time with him to get to know him; to be his first love, his first friend, his mother. And his mother I will be, because I was meant for him and he was meant for me.

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