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.