My son is so funny- the way he observes and interprets the cat’s playful behavior, trips me to laughter.
“I think the cat is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder- why is he always attacking and scratching me?”, like our cat’s a person. He was a five-week, rescue kitten from the Cat Protection Society when we adopted him for our five year old son ten years ago.
When my son was born I experienced every emotion I could possibly feel and all at once, so that I became numb in that moment of awakening- “What have I done?”
I was alone in recovery when the epidural wore off, shivering uncontrollably and inconsolably. It was as if my inner being had been stripped raw. This over powering wow, that at this moment, this pivotal point, inertia broke, shifted and realigned.
I had purposefully climbed that bump, my belly, reaching towards and now no longer part of my body, but another separate living being.
When I finally got to see him, my emotion unmistakably happiness, and laughter, uplifted to see this fat, red raw, awkward little thing. He was funny looking. All the nurses fussed and wanted to hold him, for his size was that of a three month old.
It was hard to move with grace, nor hold this 4.8 kilogram, disheveled bundle. My scar had started to heal. I was in awe of my body and what it was able to do and the eco of the surprised internal voice:
“Where did you come from!”
Fear, there it is – the one that goes without saying, has been a constant, in this role of Mother; for my anxiety slipped often, the breath stuck, faltered, never quite finding a rhythm. This fear came from the desire to give birth, without certainty. Was I a fraud? The only way to convince myself that I should be a mother was to go there. Of course it was not entirely my own decision, there was one other person to consider and convince.
Given the time it took to conceive, and the amount of fun and heartache, it was not a matter of deciding and attaining. It was the journey we encountered in between that defined the landing of parenthood.
When I decided that I wanted to be a Mother, I had joined the bla bla black sheep brigade of following the role of women and mothers before, and yes the clock, at age 34, it was now time to embark. I did not think that four years and three miscarriages would finally land the one and only big bang baby. Do it once, do it the best to my ability! So I did.
When it finally happened, this birthing, I understood, appreciated and valued my own Mother.
Princess that guards privilege,
The ultimate savior, who gives life, gives a shit, cleans up shit.
The one who gives and never stops giving.
Is that why it is so difficult for our Mother’s to receive?
Our children then are born to fulfill our own need to be a mother, born with so much valiant expectation, I can only feel deep within me, amicably, the desire and need to succeed.
Our wish for our children to be the ultimate pilgrim, who searches, sifts grains of sands without fully gripping grit, slips and stands and learns to walk.
There’s no turning back.
Yet we revel in the safety, comfort, warmth and protect.
Now. He’s already a teenager, tucked in his room away from the maddening COVID 19, safely lured to the frame, talking to voices, friends, disembodied and playing games together that make light of killing. There’s a lot of shouting for the frustration of lack of trigger speed. Makes not sense to me, this violent worship of who’s fastest.
Mother’s expect from their children. The love they felt in that moment of birth is ever present, reflected back and tested often, though we return to that place, regardless.
The act of letting go is the most difficult for a Mother. To release and to be free is the hardest act of all, like the exhale of our breath at the point of calm.
To become a Mother then is to accept our immortality. Here then lies the struggle to live and the discovery of truth.
Our sacrifice is of the body, for another. At each stage, we have shed blood, hair, skin and teeth. Shed fragile and robust tears that blur and wash clean with an awakening to clearer vision.
We inhale and exhale.
To stay with the breath is then an assessment of where we find ourselves.
There is no where else to go.