Nineteen years ago today, I woke up after feeling a huge rubber band snapping in my belly. Of course, it really wasn’t my husband snapping me with office supplies, but my body and my son deciding that was the “big” day.
I had been pregnant for the previous 41 weeks and like many other moms during that time frame, had put together a nursery, bought and washed little clothes, stockpiled diapers and gone to classes to learn how to give birth. However, none of that prepared me for the reality shock – I was about to have a baby! I was about to become responsible for a little person for the rest of my life. How would we afford braces and a car, when would I do potty training, would it harm him if I went back to work, how would I discipline him, and……..the list of questions went on and on.
With a first baby, the only thing that hits you harder than a labor pain is reality.
Over the last nineteen years, my time was spent doing things things I knew, such as cooking, cleaning, driving and laundry, laundry, laundry. I also spent a lot of time doing things I didn’t already know how to do, from learning how to differentiate between baby cries, standing up for my decisions on child rearing, to constantly shifting how I balanced comfort, discipline, expectations and fun. There were times I was not prepared and had to take action on the fly. There were other times I was so totally prepared, but didn’t have to use those skills. (We didn’t have the terrible twos, but the independent threes were something else.)
Nineteen years after my beautiful baby boy was born, I’m still learning. I’m in the learning curve of being a parent to a (almost) grown up. I can see my earlier work in his decision making and his reaction to the occasional bad decision. I still worry and still do his laundry when he is home from college but I’m learning to sit back and let him take the reins of life.
So, Happy Birthday Calvin! I’m so happy you came home for your birthday and brought your laundry!