The Birth Of My Humanity
I used to always say that one of my most redeeming qualities was that I didn’t really have any feelings. No, really. Not in a sociopathic scary kind of way. In a way that made it easy to know where you stood with me.
Life was way simpler then. I didn’t cry. I didn’t let things get to me. I’d tell you to fuck off and then figure out a way to solve whatever problem was occurring. I was the “give your head a shake and suck it up” person when you cried.
It’s not that I didn’t love other people. It’s not that I didn’t care. I don’t know….I just somehow detached myself emotionally from their bullshit. It’s how I rolled.
And then it happened. I got pregnant. And once I was done panicking about 9 months of sobriety and the fact that I was going to have to take care of another person once it came out, it happened. I took a deep breath and became a mother.
Motherhood hit me like a chronic illness. That’s sounds horrible, doesn’t it? But all of a sudden, I had all these urges and feelings and I cried every single time I watched Oprah. Every time. And it was an adjustment, because I wasn’t used to being overcome by things. I was always in control, and suddenly I had none.
Motherhood evolved me into a complete human being.
And I hate to say that, because it implies that childless people aren’t complete. Not so. I think our lives were complete for a long time, because we said we’d never have children. We felt whole. Until one day we weren’t. You know?
The biggest thing that motherhood did to me was give me empathy. I could feel another parent’s pain when I watched the news. I feel angry alongside strangers when I hear of abuse and neglect and suffering. I can put myself in the shoes of any other parent on the planet and understand them when they say “I did it for my child”. No matter what it is.
Motherhood makes you readjust your perspective on everything as you relearn about the world through your child’s eyes. I have to remember that everything is new to her. I have to explain what everything is and does and says in two year old speak. It gives you back your innocence for a time, I think. Because the answers at this point are simple. And simplicity is refreshing.
And having a child is the most empowering thing I have ever done. Not just the physical birth, but all the afters. Every time I see her be kind to another child or an animal, or figure out how something works, I feel empowered. I think that in that moment, I must be doing something right. Through all the shitty moments where I forget to lead by good example, she must have learned the good stuff from somewhere, right?
So yesterday, for Mother’s Day, we kept it simple. There were flowers and presents for the Moms in our lives. And I am grateful for the guidance and love that these women show us every day. And I know how much they love us, because I know what it is to love a child now. Our child.
But yesterday, in my heart of hearts, I spent time with my twee Destroyer of hearts and all things neat and tidy, and I celebrated her. Because she has turned me into something worthy of her.
I may have birthed her, but she gave me life.