• F

    dear bee // 16.

    11.02.2012 / FAMILY, personal

    bee

    Dear Bee,

    I know I usually write about your milestones each week, but today is different. Today, I celebrated my own milestone:

    I fell in love with you.

    I suppose that’s not the whole truth. Because the whole truth is that I loved you from the moment I knew about you; the moment your father and I saw that tiny plus sign on the pregnancy test and the moment you came into this world out of my hind locale. I really, really did. But what I didn’t anticipate was how long it would take for me to fall in love with the idea of you. The idea of us. The idea of me becoming your mother and, at the same time, singlehandedly becoming incapable of peeing by myself, uninterrupted, for the next six years.

    It wasn’t you, Bee. Sure, you would repeatedly throw the most obnoxious crying raves every night and insist that your father and I not only attend, but dance, dance, dance until our limbs became marmalade and we’d pass out onto the floor, much like those who have attended raves for decades before us. The only difference? They were gifted glow sticks.

    Even then, I loved you. But part of me was selfish. Part of me missed my former days of gallivanting through town in perfectly inappropriate footwear without fearing the weight of a car seat would topple me to the right. Or the ability to run to the grocery store and languidly peruse the olive aisle without worrying that I’ll be home in time for your next feeding. Or the idea that maybe, perhaps one day soon, I could wear my favorite silk dress that is so terribly non-nursing-friendly and I’d twirl off into the sunset without a care in the world.

    But this is better than all that, Bee. It’s maddening and it’s anxiety-inducing and I’m in a constant state of overthinking and overfeeling and it is a completely exhausting way to live. But it is such a beautiful time for me. For us. Because you’re teaching me not only how to become a better mother, but how to become a better me. The kind of me that spends every morning in a quiet house, just the two of us, watching and listening and waiting patiently for you to teach me something wonderful. The kind of me that turns off my phone and focuses on nothing more than the wisps on your forehead or the lines on your hands. The kind of me that slows down, just for a bit, to marvel at the beauty of another human being.

    I like this me. And this me likes you. So very, very much.

    And yes, there will be days when I’ll hope to put on that favorite silk dress and twirl off into the sunset without a care in the world. But I no longer want to twirl alone, Bee. I want to be twirling with you.

    XO,
    Mama

    • Ashleigh

      Beautiful.

    • I started to feel exactly this same way when my daughter was about this age- it was quite a remarkable feeling to stop missing what was (my independence!) and start marveling and embracing what is. The simplicity of our days brings me so much joy and I love knowing that I can make my baby laugh simply by making a funny face or a silly noise. It took me a while (I think I had post traumatic colic syndrome…) but I really love being a mom. Enjoy these lovely days my friend!

    • @Amy – I think we may have had particularly fussy babies, yes? I sometimes wonder if Bee was a perfect angel baby, would I have still felt this way? But I think so. It’s really difficult to lose your independence all in one fell swoop, but such a beautiful trade-off. :)

    • Erin, your letters to Bee are always so beautiful that sometimes they nearly bring me to tears. I am very emotional, but they are also quite moving… I don’t have kids yet, but your candid words and honesty help me to love my sisters and friends as mothers more. You may share things (which they do not) that help open my eyes to untold struggles of new motherhood. Thank you so much for your vulnerability.

    • @Kerry Oh goodness; thank you so much, Kerry! It’s my hope that I can look back at these letters and remember how hard the transitions were – but also how rewarding and exciting when things just sort of all come together. I sometimes forget that that can be helpful to others, as well – thank you for that reminder!

    • Cassie

      While reading this post I bounced on my exercise ball in from of the computer with my 9 month old snuggled tightly against my chest in the Ergo. He fell asleep somewhere in my distraction and I tried to not let me tears fall and wake him. I didn’t use to be this emotional, but when you fall in love with these little humans it’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced. It is the hardest job I’ve ever done, but the most rewarding. You put to words, beautiful poetic words, exactly how I feel about motherhood and my little man. Thanks for sharing!

    • @Cassie – Ah, thank you so much! And what a beautiful moment with your son!

    • I love your honesty and your emotion. I think you’re like me in that you love really hard and care so deeply it hurts. Bee is growing daily and so are you :)

    • What an absolutely beautiful post. I can relate on so many levels.

    • I understand your feelings entirely…you write so beautifully.

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