Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Decade of Unconditional Love

Just a moment ago I kicked my soon to be 10 year old off the computer so I could blog all about him. As he was headed downstairs we did a palm match. We have done this for years. We match our palms together, base of the wrist touching. He loves to joke about how someday soon his will be bigger than mine. That day is today. The tips of his little boy fingers reach just above my Mama fingers. Making me all the more emotional about Tuesday. Tuesday marks my 10-year parenting anniversary. It seems like yesterday that I was left alone with him for the very first time. Ed left us in the car as we were leaving the hospital. He had to get prescriptions filled for me for dealing with the post-labor pains. Lots of things have changed in 10 years. :) I sat in the backseat with my newborn baby boy and I felt so alone and scared and lost. Though he wasn't crying, I began to sing to him in order to soothe my self. I didn't and still don't know very many lullabies, so I made up a song. I sang "Philip, my boy, filling me up with so much Joy." Over the years I have changed the name to sing it for my other children, but it will never mean the same thing as it does for my first born. Philip is the one that I journeyed into Motherhood with. He made me a Mama. And we have come so far together in the last 10 years. In his first weeks, the hospital sent a home-visit nurse out to check on us. If you know me, then you know if that were done today, I would be in quite a tizzy. WHAT? Sending someone to check up on me?? Hehe. Back in the day, I wouldn't have made it without that home visit nurse. I was absolutely petrified of being alone with my new baby. When Ed had to go back to work, I begged him not to! I don't remember how old Philly was, but when the nurse came to see us, we had not been outside yet. She asked me why. I explained to her that my newborn baby hadn't had any vaccinations yet. He couldn't possibly go outside with all those germs and viruses w/out being vaccinated! That poor woman. She was so patient and good to me. She very gently explained to me that "he is in this world now honey. there's nothing you can do to stop that." That sweet home visit nurse also said many other things that helped pump up the new me, the Mama me. Though I didn't believe her at the time, she told me that babies are very resilient and that there wasn't much I could do to damage him. And thus began my first-born's love of nature. We went on walks everyday from then on! It's how he went to sleep for naps. As he got older, he would reach up from his reclined stroller seat for the leaves on trees as we passed under them. As my mother-in-law says, I am very accommodating to my children. So, when baby Philip would reach for the leaves, I would pick him up out of the stroller and help him grab them. I remember how seriously I took my new position as The Mom. I was so anxious. When Philip was 5 months old, I laughed out loud at something funny Ed said. We were so shocked to hear my laughter, we froze for a moment. In that moment, we realized that I hadn't laughed out loud the whole 5 months of Philip's small life! (Except for the night we watched "Bill Cosby: Himself." LOL.) That's also the day I started to believe that I wasn't going to accidentally kill my child. If I didn't answer his cries IMMEDIATELY, he really wasn't going to die. If I thought he needed to nurse, when what he really needed was a clean diaper, he wasn't going to hate me. If I wasn't perfect, it was OK. Now that my child is days from being 10 years old, he has the ability, and uses it well, to remind me of those facts. He IS resilient. It IS OK to make parenting mistakes. It's a journey. Every one of us makes a wrong turn at one point or another. The lessons lie in allowing ourselves to be shown the way back to the path we are meant to be on. And allowing ourselves to forgive and be forgiven. As most of my readers know, I have 3 boys now. The biggest thing I have learned as a Mother is to let my children be my navigators. I still fight it when they tell me which direction to turn, just as I fight my new navigation system; or anyone else giving me driving directions. But I've never been this way before, and isn't it better to follow some navigation when you don't know which way to go? I think so. Thank you my first son, thank you for taking this journey with me and for allowing me to guide you as you try to find your way in the world. Thanks for having the courage to remind me I need to make a u-turn sometimes. Thank you for your sense of humor and your caring ways; thank you for your laughter and your hard work and play. Thank you for being You. No matter what tomorrow holds for you, always know that Mom is here to support you, in whatever way you need. Be yourself no matter what, and live your life whatever way is right for you. I love you big guy! Love, *Mom*


Jenny said...

Happy birthday, Philip!

Jennifer said...

awwwwww sniff sniff!! that was beautiful. Print it out and frame it and giv e it to him. He may not like it now but in another 10 or even 20 years he will cherish that. Happy Birthing Day to you and Happy Birthday Phillip!

Hannah said...

Trace, I love what that nurse did for you. I think every first time mom deserves to have someone in her life, preferably unrelated to her so she'll really believe it :-), who helps her get in touch with her mothering instincts and inspires her to confidence. And now look how far you've come!

And now I am off to watch the season premiere of LOST season 5, to answer the question you asked me on MY blog a few days ago. :-)