The day you were born was rainy. The midwives later told me that rainy days often bring on labour – it’s an evolutionary thing. I never thought that my body would follow evolution… yet, here you were.
The moment I held you for the first time you were warm, soft and squishy. I looked at you and I think I saw my life slip away in that moment. I was yours, just as surely as you were mine. There was nothing in the rest of my life that would ever, ever better my finest achievement – you. In that moment, I realised that my life was, in a way, over. I wanted to stay with you for as long as I could, but if I died the day after you were born – I would have been thankful for the moments I was with you and breathed in your scent, your newness, your beauty. I didn’t realise it at the time, though.
It took years of trudging through the valleys, the pits and the fog before I realised this simple truth – I love you. I love the way you push your jaw out when you’re arguing, how you try to do something when someone tells you that you can’t – even the way you analyse a statement and look for the loopholes. You are not an easy child to love, some days. The way you scream when you don’t get your own way could take layers of paint off the wall, how your small body can occupy 3/4 of a queen size bed and how you drive us crazy with your latest fad. Yet, here we are. Those mornings where your parents get no sleep, I feel the warmth of your body before you fully awaken, then see your eyes open, watch you take your first morning breath and feel your little hand move hair off my forehead and I melt. With you, I am not a solid entity. With you I am fluid. When you scream, I am screaming on the inside. I never wanted to be this parent. I want the hard stuff to be over, I want to see what you will become. And I want you to be small and I want to do it all over again.
I don’t want another child: I want you again. I want to experience it all over again, this time without the fog. Go back, take time, be the parent I wanted to be. Undo the mistakes. Yet, here we are. I cannot do any of those things, instead, just keep moving on, trying harder to be better. To make things right. You are amazing. You are brilliant. You make me laugh, ponder, smile and the pride I feel in you is larger than an ocean. I want you big and small, to see what you will be, to see what you were and I want you to be here now. I appreciate you so much, in between discipline and dispute. There is that unwavering feeling that what I do will never be enough. You are slipping away from me, growing up. And I wonder, am I really ready for that?
Yes. Always ready for that. For when you no longer scream, wake or obsess. Ready. But I will always hold on to who you were, what you are and who you will be. My darling boy, with you I found who I truly was. From the moment you were born, I understood. It just took me time to speak that language in which the message was given to me.
I love you. Always and forever. Forever and always, yours.