Sunday, August 11, 2013

Stop This Train.....I Can't Take the Speed It's Moving In.

John and I married in 1999.  We were so young (19! What were we thinking?) and crazy in love. AND determined to NEVER have children.  I mean, who thought there was a real need for little Johns and Aprils anyway?  We didn't...until I turned 21.  Things changed for me.  Suddenly, I had a hole: a giant vat of emptiness and sorrow, that just couldn't be filled with anything.

I was so terribly sad, perhaps a little depressed and insanely jealous of anyone and everyone who ever had a child.  I had a serious case of iwantababyitis and, despite my best efforts to keep busy and take my mind off having a baby, nothing filled the void.  It was Christmas 2000, I had just graduated from college (early!) and all I wanted was a baby.

Getting pregnant is the most natural thing, right?  I was so sure it would be easy.  Surely, this loving, devoted young couple would quickly conceive, have the perfect brown-eyed son and all would be right in the universe.  That was the plan. Plans are easily made, but I've never been real great with following through.  (This is the part where I don't bore/horrify you with 7 years of infertility.)

During those 7 years, John's family popped out kids like rabbits. At a rate of 2 (ok, so it's not rabbit-pace, but you have to admit that's impressive) new babies per year, I was so jealous...and his well intentioned, yet not-so-helpful, family tried to appease me with, "But, April, it's their time.  Your time will come."  Please, ya'll, never EVER say that to a woman trying to conceive.  It denotes punishment or an unworthiness that we already feel.  It was 7 long years of Hell.  I told the world, "there are mothers and there are others.  I am an other."  I made peace with never having a child....and then this happened.

What you're looking at is the most beautiful, perfect baby ever born.  I got my Christmas wish 7 years after I asked.  Born on December 21, 2007, my grandma's 79th birthday, Mason Grace filled my void. Not the brown-eyed boy I dreamed of, but instead, a blue-eyed girl, and absolutely everything I never knew I wanted.

I spent 7 long years begging for her.  Those years seemed to drag. One miserable Christmas followed by the next. On and on.  Until she was born.  Then time sped up. Weeks felt like days; months like weeks. Seasons blurred by. And it was Christmas again. Suddenly, my baby was a year old. Walking.  And then time passed at warp speed.

That brown-eyed boy arrived, along with his twin brother, when Mason was 2 and a half. She grew while I was too preoccupied to notice.  When I caught up with her, she was 3 years old.  Time accelerated, but my ability to see her age diminished. I mean, I know she's older.  I threw her an awesome 5th b-day party.  It's just, when I think of her, this is how I see her.

3 years old and completely in love with Elmo.

But that's not her.  Not now.  She's a big kid.  In 10 days, she begins Kindergarten, where attendance matters and assessments begin.  It's the real deal, ya'll.  She takes piano lessons, and gymnastics, and is learning to swim. She rarely asks for hugs or affection.  With every passing day, she becomes more independent.

But she's still mine. Somewhere between little and grown.  The Survival Mom's only daughter. I have so much to teach her.  She needs to know that her best is the best, that there is never a reason to compare herself with another person.  I want her to truly feel that she is beautiful, and perfect, and wonderful in her skin, no matter the size or shape. So please, time train, slow down, before she's too grown and I've missed my chance to teach her.

1 comment:

  1. You're teaching her - whether it's deliberate or not. She's learning by watching you - those things particularly (knowing that her best is the best, feeling beautiful and perfect and wonderful in her skin, no matter the size or shape).