Our First Mother’s Day

From the time that I was little I knew I wanted to be a mom. It was, in fact, one of the first things that I told your dad when we met. “I was put on this Earth to be a mom. That’s all I’m really certain of.” Looking back, this probably wasn’t the best pickup line when meeting a man, but heck, it was my truth and any man who was interested in a future needed to know that. Fortunately, Dad didn’t take off running.

Great Grandma Carolyn often reminds me of a doll, Lissy, that I carried around town. I probably carried her around longer than most girls my age, but I adored her. Gram’s favorite part of the story seems to be that people quite often would come up and ask questions of “the baby” as if she were real and were often surprised to learn that she wasn’t. Gram attributes that to how I carried Lissy–like a fragile, newborn baby. You see, it was just in my DNA. I didn’t know it then but I was practicing for you. 

I remember the morning I found out I was pregnant. For no reason other than a weird feeling, I got up at 7am one Saturday morning and took a pregnancy test. I thought nothing of it as I busied myself during the minute it took to generate the results. There’s no word to describe the feeling that rushed over me when I casually walked back into the bathroom and found out I was pregnant. And so, I spent the next hour sitting on the floor telling Olive that “we were having a baby.” I just kept repeating it over and over as if the words were going to seem real if I continued to say them. When daddy woke up, I had coffee ready. I poured him a cup, sat him down and said, “I think I’m pregnant.” It should come as no surprise that your dad told me that I either was or I wasn’t, so what was this ‘think’ stuff? He was shocked. We certainly didn’t expect for you to be joining our family so soon but how could we feel anything in that moment but blessed?

Your daddy and I were so sure you were a girl. We had settled on a name and everything! We were both stunned to open the envelope that day and learn that you were in fact a boy–our boy. Our son. And in an instant, it was all real.

I never imagined that I’d spend pregnancy terrified, but I was. Suddenly, these high expectations for being a mother seemed frightening. I had no idea what I was going to do once you were here! I thought I might fail, maybe do the wrong things. Heck, how was I going to keep you alive once Dad had to go back to work?! But on the night of your due date, as I woke up to my water breaking, a sense of calm settled in. It was time and so I decided that I would be both strong and calm for you. That was how I wanted you to enter the world. 

As I write this now, you are 7 months old. I spent the last two hours being pained by your tears as I tried to teach you how to self soothe. You see, every day I try my best to make the right decisions for you, to make you a strong, happy, little man. You’ve become my sidekick. Spending every day with you fills my life with more joy than you’ll ever know, or at least until the day comes that you have a child of your own. 

I spent my whole life dreaming of you. I didn’t yet know your daddy or anything about what you’d be like, but even my dreams couldn’t have lived up to this reality. You are sweeter, smarter and more handsome than I could have ever imagined. The greatest gift I’ve ever received was becoming your mommy. I have both you and daddy to thank for that. So on this Mother’s Day, our first Mother’s Day, I need no cards or gifts or anything of the sort. I received the greatest gift of all the day I met you and that’s all our family needs.

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