I can’t say I was heartbroken, I can’t really say what I was, I think I was stunned, in shock and unsure of my whole life. I was YOUNG, married, had a house a car and a baby.
We had Kid1 August 5th and we spent 5 days together as a “family”. I say “family” because back then we didn’t know how to be a family yet. Mostly we sat around staring at this new life that we created wondering what we would do with him and us too. I don’t really remember those days before Mr. B. left, it was all a blur.
I do have one specific memory of an interaction between Mr. B. and Kid1. Kid1 was crying, as babies do and Mr. B. was packing to leave, as sailors do. I was in a stunned and terrified state of mind as I watched from what felt like above. As I watched this little baby cry and Mr. B. pack it was an out of body experience. I stood there as Mr. B. looked down at this new little person and said “HUSH! BE QUIET”! I wondered if this very little and very loud person would stop crying. Kid1 was instantly silent and stared with big wondering eyes at Mr. B. I could tell Mr. B. felt bad for shouting at him, he didn’t know how to be a father either.
Poor kid, there he laid the child of two parents without a clue. He must have known right then that he was in for a lifetime of surprises and bad parenting! You know the first one is always an experiment….
I experimented with food, clothes, bedtimes and diapers. I dressed him up like he was a doll as he and I got to know one another. I took a picture of him every single day so that Mr. B. could see how he grew from a far. Mr. B. missed those coo’s, first smiles, first laughs. He missed his first holidays, first tooth, first crawls. As I got to know this tiny but fantastic person I came to really respect the person that he was at a very young age. Kid1 seemed to understand others deeply; he seemed to be able to read others, to see inside of them. It was weird. He had a keen sense of who he was even as a baby. He and I were friends as I told you about in THIS POST. It took some time to learn to be his mother, to correct him, to teach him to go to sleep, to feed him properly.
I loved being a mother, it’s all I ever wanted to be but let’s be honest- having a baby is ON the job training. My sister said the most profound thing last night to me in an email. She said “How come we can admit that we may not sleep for 3 months straight, but we can’t admit that they make us cranky and resentful”? SO TRUE! It’s okay to learn to be a mother as you are one. Don’t we all learn from our daily experiences and mistakes?
Say like the time I gave him Gatorade because it’s all I had and at 8 months he would not touch another bottle… because he was mortified by the taste of Gatorade? Like when he ate PBJ everyday for lunch by 5 months because I thought that’s what kids ate? What about the times he and I stayed up to watch Arsenio Hall when he really should have been in bed but I was lonely? I learned as I went, I’m always learning, I’m always trying new things and then realizing that they are a bad idea or a great idea.
Kid1, you’re a miracle, you truly are! We feel so blessed that you’re ours. You have no idea how lucky you are that you even made it due to our young parenting and poor ideas. God guided us along as we fumbled through having a first child.
Thanks for being you son, thanks for being first (even though Kid4 thinks SHE was first), we are more proud of you than we could ever express. I love you son, you made me a momma and I am eternally grateful.proof that Orvil redenbacher WAS a baby once too...