Memories flashed through my heart like a deck of cards. Finding out I would be a mother, words I never thought I’d say, choosing bedding patterns, dreaming of this little life, researching the safety and quality of products because my child would have the best, needing to sell my car and requiring something more secure, his long and painful arrival, the first night I was alone with him, the first diaper I changed, the weight I carried longer than I wanted, the pains of providing sustenance, the ache of healing, the burden of self division into wife, self, & mommy, the desire to be the old friend I was, the wish I had the old life I did, the need to be everything to this one little person, the clothes that would be best, the diapers that were the most expensive, the immunizations, the months that passed and were marked individually with a photo session, the return to work, the goodbyes as his daily care belonged to someone else, the plans for a first birthday party, the money we’ve put aside for him each month, our dreams….
It’s endless. This desire to give him the world and the fight to make sure he isn’t all of mine. I cut pieces of myself off and put them away waiting for the moments to come. He will talk. He will be left out. He will love. He will have his heart broken. He will hurt. He will say, “I do.” He will…so many things that he will.
While I shuffled through the masses, the Queen of Hearts came up and faced me. We sat and had a talk and here she told me, “Stop making it about you.”
I battled her not believing what she was telling me, “How can this be about me? Not a foot of this road has been about me.”
“Sweet child,” she said with her head bowed, “It’s all about you.”
My heart expanded as the truth swirled within it. I could hardly breathe as the truth grew. It has been about me.
It has been about my sacrifice, my dream, my aches, my growing pains. It has been about my fear that the patterns of the pac n’ play and stroller didn’t match. It has been about how he would remember me when his first years weren’t spent at a park with his mother. It was about how I wouldn’t be able to tell him that I was there and a witness to it all. It was about how I would redeem my hurts through his life that was of me and from me.
She saw my face as it crumbled under the weight of the tears I’d stored deep within and she soothed me, “Sweet girl, your boy only needs your love. He needs you to hug him, to embrace him wholey, to let him grow in the safety of your imperfectly perfect love. Let go, give in, lose control.”
I loosened my grip and as the cards fell I swiftly said a prayer, “Lord, take it from me. Let me lose it all in you for if I don’t I will lose it all. Make it less about me and all about You. I just can’t make it like this another moment.”
The Queen retreated to her deck and I was left in candlelight to conquer this deep mothering fear that I would fail him and myself.
Love and let it be.
And with the last of my deep heavy sighs I stole the life from the flickering light in the darkened room and to sleep I fell.
image from flowers & machinery