I became a mother sometime in the last week. Technically, I've been a mother since July 14th, but it wasn't the same. Peter and I have been building a relationship this whole time. I thought the first time I saw him the whole thing would make sense and I would be automatically transformed. That's the way I've always been told that it happens. That's just not how it happened for us. I loved him right away, but I didn't feel like he was mine or that I was his. Instead of some single life changing instant, we've bonded through hundreds of little moments and I think that's okay, too. I'm way too cerebral to be a natural at much of anything, so I guess it isn't surprising. Hopefully he won't mind too much.
Over the last week, I just get it. And wow. And ouch. Wow because it's amazing to love someone so much. Ouch because it's both liberating and absolutely crushing, and that push and pull is something I could never have been prepared to feel. My dream for him since before he was born was that he would grow into a kind and independent person. It didn't fully sink in to me until after he was born that this means he'll have to get hurt to become those things. Intellectually, I know that's a good and natural thing. At the same time, it breaks my heart in the most profound way. I realize that nothing has or will ever hurt me like something hurting him and I can't protect myself from that at all. I try not to think about it, but a few tears may have fallen on his sweet little head like some kind of home baptism, except this one is as ancient as mothers and children and washes away my former self instead of his.