When I think about the day I was born, I feel sad for then-me and for the woman who gave birth to me. She must have been afraid and worried about who would raise me. She’d agreed, after all, to the loving of me, the carrying of me, and to the giving away of me. She was 18 and ashamed.
Oh Mamas, the ways in which we’re reborn.
“It’s the right thing to do.”
I know she was told that, over and over. That she believed it enough to do so. That they were all just right enough.
When I think about the day I was born into my forever family, I wonder about the eight days between her and them. Where I spent them. Where they spent those days. Did my birth mom know a family had been chosen? Did my forever-parents know that I was waiting for them? Was there a nurse with me then, and was she kind or terrible?
I wonder at my birth-mother’s grief and embarrassment and leaking boobs-without-a-baby, and I wonder at my family’s hope and excitement. I wonder at the people who had me between and whether or not my life today is affected by having wanted breastfeeding, or not really knowing who my mother was.
“This is what I looked like when I was a baby,” my son tells his friends as they run upstairs. They pause at a group of photos, look, giggle, and run on while he continues to explain. “See? I was bald!” He laughs, realizes that his friends are in his room without him and leaves memory lane to join them in destroying Lego creations and games of who can jump the furthest from the bed. Their jumps rattle the walls above me. His wanting to connect with himself as a baby and to share then-him with friends rattles me as much.
He’ll be seven years old in July, and has only shown interest in who he was as a baby over the past year or so. He doesn’t question how Daddy got him into my belly, or how he got out, although one day, he asked whether it hurt when he came out.
“Well, yes,” I said. “But I was okay, and so were you.”
That was enough for him. It was enough for me.
I remember the day that I became a mother, and how afraid I was. How proud I was. I was reborn. I remember the hours of wonder and loneliness.
My son is seven, and I see myself reborn each day that my son ages. We are reborn when we have kids.
I watch him snuggling, crawling into my bed, pulling away, defining himself and then, in private when his friends are gone, asking about being a baby. “Carry me upstairs,” he asks and I wish I could but he’s heavy now and no longer fits on my hip.
I wish he still fit on my hip, the way that other six-year-olds do. He’s big for his age. He’s so young for his age.
I suppose that each of us has been born, or re-born, multiple times in our lives. The day we move across country for a job, and then quit it when we have a baby. Or, the day that we put that baby in daycare to continue the us-ness we crave.
We’re reborn as we hold a dying dog on our lap, and watch his ear – the one we’ve whispered into, stroked and kissed for 12 years turn from pink and alive to white, and not.
We’re born on the brave days – the ones on our third date when we dare to ask whether he’s willing to have another baby. At advanced maternal age.
We’re reborn when he says yes, and when we do, too.
We’re each reborn over and over again, and I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. That lessons on looking a special needs mama in the eyes, that not not-seeing her kid with his or her delays… Texting the mama from the volunteer group or the playground to piece together the puzzle of what really happened. We’re reborn, and given new perspective, and life, and another way to see.
We’re reborn in knowing that sometimes, it’s okay to watch Netflix and escape. Other times, it’s the day we roar at school and say we’re going to do the whatever it takes to make first-graders not bully one another. That we’ll get to the bottom of a story even when that story sucks and we’re not even sure what’s true about it.
We’re reborn each time that we realize that what we do in the next five minutes, or the next day or week matters. Let’s do something amazing.
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This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post and the sentence is “The day I was born (re-born) was….”
Hosts are me (Kristi from http://www.findingninee.com)
and this week’s sentence thinker-upper, Corinne Rodrigues of http://everydaygyaan.com/