Wednesday, January 1, 2014

(i don't want your) photograph

Dear Little M,

We had our first of many "woman-to-woman" chats the night you were born.   Like me, you were born on a Saturday night after roughly 4200 hours of labor.  Like me, you were a freakishly large baby born to a smallish mom (thanks very little for that, by the way. oh, and sorry, Mom).

The similarities end here---your Nanny was a huge proponent of the natural childbirth movement, so apparently, I entered the world all sorts of alert.  Your mama, on the other hand, vocalized her wish to start the epidural at the 20-week ultrasound and asked for a quantity that would (and i quote) "render a linebacker senseless", so you were slightly more mellow on that very first night.

There was a flurry of activity immediately following your arrival--where everyone in the room felt compelled to snap all sorts of pictures.  For the sake of argument and for everyone's benefit, we're going to lie and pretend that the pictures taken on Day 2 were the "firsts".  The real first day pictures could be shown in a night school photography exhibit called "Blotchy and the Conehead".  Seriously.

I don't need the first day pictures of us to remember our first magical moments together---they are forever etched on my brain and my heart.  

After a few hours, everyone else left the hospital and I settled into my room.  I started watching a Sex and the City rerun on basic cable and tried to make sense of what had just become of my life.  The on-call nurse brought you to me, placed you in my arms, and left.

I had no clue what to do with you.

I mean no clue whatsoever....but calling for a nurse's assistance after 6 seconds of hard parenting seemed pathetic, even for me, so I just began to have a conversation with you.   There are no pictures, no video and yet I remember every single word.

It went like this...

Hi Little M....I'm your mommy.  It's really nice to finally meet you.

I'm going to level with you---I have no clue what I'm doing here.  I never read the books.  I have no motherly instincts.  We're not even going to talk about what my dolls looked like after I was done with them.  I tried to sell my little brother more than once.

I'm not sure what to do with you---but I'm sure about YOU.

You don't know how to be a baby and I don't know how to be a mom, but I know we're going to figure this out....together.

I can't promise you that I'm not going to totally jack up your feedings, but I can promise you that I will take you to see the world.  I will be your tour guide.  I promise to respect the person you are, I promise to not insult your intelligence, and I promise that I will never insist that you believe what I believe.  I promise that I'll let you find your own path, and I will be there to serve as your guide.  I can't promise you much else, but I can promise you that.

My roommate must have thought I was completely insane.  (oh yes, the craptastic hospital where you were born didn't have private rooms).

You, looked up at me as if I were making some sort of sense.  It may have been the drugs or the exhaustion, but I prefer to think that we simply understood each other.

It was a start.  It was our start...and it was perfect.

To our humble beginning.

PS- I did promise you that I'd begin writing down our stories, now didn't I?  ;)

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