A Letter to the love of my life on his 3rd birthday

“No river is too wide or too deep for me to swim to you. Come whatever, I’ll be the shelter that won’t let the rain come through. Your love, it is my truth, and I will always love you. ” Adele, Remedy

My dearest Declan Thomas,

I meant to write this letter on your first birthday.  But as it so often does, especially since we welcomed you into the world, time simply got away from me. I wanted to find a moment to sit down and tell you all the things I felt during my first year as a mom, but I couldn’t seem to find a spare moment to do it.  You were walking- running, really- by the time your first birthday rolled around, and it was all I could do to keep up with you.  See kid, I’m going to share a little secret with you that you’ll figure out soon enough on your own- mommy’s old.  Not like OLD old- just older than the average mom of such a young child. And I know you don’t know any different but once you go to school, you’ll see that most of the mommies are a little younger than yours.  It’s not a good thing or a bad thing- it’s just the way it worked out for us.  And we’re doing more than okay so far, so I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.

Anyway, now that you know mommy is old, maybe you’ll appreciate what a game-changer bringing you home was.  I had lived nearly 40 years not having to be responsible for so much as a pet, and here you were, tiny, adorable, completely and utterly dependent upon me for everything.  And I’m not going to lie- it was terrifying.  Don’t get me wrong- I adored you from the second I laid eyes on you (before, even, but it didn’t really get real until you were handed to me) but I was so afraid that I wouldn’t have the slightest clue what to do with you.  And at first, I didn’t.  I think I did a pretty good job of faking it, but even when you started to actually sleep long stretches, I couldn’t, though I can’t remember ever being as tired as I was in those early days.  I was always getting up to check that you were breathing, or lying awake thinking of all the things I was likely doing wrong or even just staring at you while you slept because I couldn’t believe I had created something so perfect.  Not that it wasn’t tough;  I won’t sugarcoat it, the first 4-6 weeks of being a mom was easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  I was hormonal, exhausted, recovering from a C-section and you ate CONSTANTLY.  There were days when I didn’t know why I even bothered wearing a shirt because you were nursing around the clock, but once we both got the hang of that, things got a lot easier.  And it was nobody’s fault, kid- we were both just learning.  But after the first 6 weeks or so, I started to become more confident in my ability to actually do this job because you really flourished and I couldn’t help but feel like I had at least a little something to do with that. And I know everyone thinks their kid is a genius, but you started doing things way before the age you were “supposed” to; things like smiling, laughing, rolling over.  You’ve always been way ahead of the curve, D, and even though you are only three, I don’t see that changing any time soon. Continue reading “A Letter to the love of my life on his 3rd birthday”