29 years ago (well, 29 years and two days ago), I became a mom. I was scared, amazed, and totally in love with six pounds of squalling, red-faced, demanding bundle of…joy? It was back when they allowed new mothers to stay for several days in the hospital, giving them a chance to recover and get to know their baby in a safe place where there were plenty of people around to help.
I was very happy for that help when the day came to take her home. The Turd (her sperm donor and my first ex spouse) had brought the carefully chosen “going home” outfit and I reveled in dressing my little doll in a one-piece sleeper. I held her up to show everyone how sweet she looked. She screwed up her face and proceeded to fill the feet of her sleeper with her very first poop. Gawd, it was EVERYWHERE! So much poop from such a tiny baby. I stood there watching those poop-filled sleeper feet swinging gently to and fro, then I turned to the nurse and said, “I don’t know what to do.”
Spawn hasn’t changed much over the years, except to get taller than me. Oh, and she’s stopped spontaneously filling her pants with poop. She still makes that face though.
Looking back, I can say it was easy when she was little. I knew what she was doing, where she was going, and who she was with at any given moment. I fixed her boo-boos, helped her stay healthy, and when she was sad, I held her until she was happy again.
Somehow she managed to grow to adulthood despite my less than perfect parenting. She’s living a life that is different than mine, wearing clothes I would not choose for her, hanging with people I don’t know, and going places I’ve never been. She can apply her own bandages and mind her health, and when she’s sad…sometimes I still get to hold her, but she has friends (those people I don’t know) who also get to help her pick up the pieces.
It’s a part of growing up that everyone gets to do, kids and parents alike. That letting go process that scares us when they’re little, and we look forward to when they turn into those truly obnoxious teens. Letting go is hard and those first long nights after they’ve moved away are some of the worst in my life. Every siren screamed my name.
I’d love to say it gets easier, but I’d be lying like a rug. Of course, there are times when having the house to ourselves is a lovely treat, but we still miss them.
We’ll miss the ones who are old enough to be true adults; the ones who will always be our first babies; the ones with the spectacular first poop. The ones who survived ignorant parents, boiled pacifiers, and some of the first disposable diapers (those dreadful taped-on, soft as sandpaper nappies).
Of course it’s nice to converse like adults, or as adult-like as we choose to be at any given moment, and to know that when a problem arises, they’ll try to figure it out on their own first.
29 years ago, I changed from being a person to being a mom. It’s been interesting; mostly fun, a lot of scary, and so much silly. I like being a mom. I like being your mom, Spawn. I love you.
Some things may never change, but others change too much. It’s been kind of sad around here lately no matter how much I hold my daughter. I would appreciate as many positive thoughts and prayers, energy, candles, whatever you use to send out the good vibes to someone very dear to us. He’s going through a very difficult time and right now we can’t find him.
He is loved, but I don’t think he knows or understands it. Depression does that to people and they don’t see it. All three of his Mamma’s love him and want him safe. We want him to get help. We understand that pain because we’ve all been there to some degree. We’re here. We’ll help.