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Monday, August 7, 2017

Somewhere Only We Know

My sweet boy.

How can I express to you what these last few months have meant to me?You likely won't remember the 11 p.m., 1:30 a.m., 3:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. feedings of the first few weeks of your precious little life.

How when you cried it both broke my heart and made me laugh. Because your little world was falling apart. And you needed me. You needed us to be together.

But I will.

In the beginning, it seemed like this whole being-your-mom-thing was a lot easier when I was pregnant with you. When I knew exactly where you were at all times. When I knew you were eating enough. You came with me wherever I went without the clicks and snaps of a car seat or stroller. I could track your progress on my favorite pregnancy apps.

That time together we had was a place that only you and I will ever know – and I'll remember it always – but for all the hard work you are, I wouldn't turn back. I would only press forward. Because watching you grow is a joy. It's a gift. And it's full of the best surprises.

You likely won't remember how you didn't like to be put down.
How the only way to calm you down when you were crying was to pull you close to me and stroke your soft, chubby cheeks. How you looked up at me like I was your whole world when I fed you.

But I will.

You likely won't remember how my arms felt so much stronger with you in them. How I felt I could tear down a wall if something tried to hurt you. How keenly aware I became of smokers, loud noises, bumps on the highway or the sidewalk when we were out with the stroller.

You likely won't remember how your eyes followed me when daddy held you. How if I got up and walked away you looked at me like, "where do you think you're going, mom?" So cute.

You likely won't remember the first time you smiled at me when I came back into the room. How your face lit up in a way I'd never seen. This, after hours and hours and days and days of studying you and only you. Your habits. Your breaths. Your movement. The way you concentrate your tiny hands like they're the most fascinating things in the world (they are definitely in the top ten for me).

But I will.

You likely won't remember the first time I leave for the office, trying to convince myself to swallow down the lump in my throat. To put on red lipstick, hold my head high, carry in my breast pump and deal with it.

But I will.

You'll likely never know that I cried at my desk. Or that the hours seemed so slow compared to the ones I spent with you. Or that the choices your daddy and I are making right now are logically best for the family – but emotionally? They're the hardest. Most gut-wrenching.

But I will.

Because nothing absorbs me like you do, my sweet boy.You'll never know the woman I was before you came along. Boy, was she a whacky one.

Before she met you, she assumed that when it was time for her to return to work she'd find herself again. That this time together would be happy, fun, at at times awkward and hard. But that when it was time, she'd feel ready. She'd come charging in, ready to show the world what she was made of.

But your presence in my life unspooled me then wrung me up again. This time with you tucked in close to me.That's what motherhood does to a person. It makes you want to go back, back, back. To these places that only we know.

I'll forever come back to this place. Our first home together. The spot in the couch that is worn where I nursed you. Our very first 12 weeks together as a family. The place where you learned to roll over, hold up your own head, take baths (with a lot of help, of course).

And where I learned how to wrap myself in the identity of motherhood.

Where I learned that we can't really keep our children tucked safely in places only we know. We have to raise them up so they'll know more, do better, do wiser, incredible things.

But we'll remember the places only we know as we move forward. As quickly as everyone says time goes. I'll keep these memories, I'll keep this joy tucked into me.

I will.


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