My baby is having a baby

in Essential Ramblings

My ‘baby’ is about to have a baby. In my pre-mommy days I worked as a social worker at a high school in the Bronx and I had one student that I just knew was mine. There were lots that I loved. So many who stole my heart and kept me up late at night worrying that they’d be OK. That they would be safe and happy and successful. But there was always one that made me hold my breath. She made me protective and proud and I knew she was somehow mine to look over.

When she graduated from high school I was there to watch. When she graduated from college I cried with her mother, tears of joy and happiness at a job well done and of a life well on the road. She took a job in finance and when she called me to say she was going into the nonprofit field I told her not to. She said, what? That’s what you did – and it makes me happy. So, I congratulated her. When she called to say she was getting married, I said what are you thinking? You’re too young, and she said, I’m the same age you were! I said he better love you. I cried at the wedding and watched this man look at this woman and I knew that he did. Years later and I got the call she was going to have a baby and I said WHAT?! You’re too young. And of course she is not.

And any day now she will have this baby and I honestly can’t believe it. I know she is going to love that baby to pieces and she is going to cry and suffer and love every second. She will laugh and cry and scream and shout. Because that’s what it is to be a mom. It is love and pain, and it’s the future. It’s beautiful and horrible and everything in between. I don’t know what to say to my ‘baby’ other than good luck, find peace and do your best. Is there more? Love them, care for them, watch out for them, steer them…but most often do your best.  This new mother was my first baby. The first one I let get in my heart and scare me. And I can’t wait to watch as she loses her heart to this little life. It is the best pain you will ever face. It is everything you are afraid of, everything you hold dear, and everything you love packaged in the most terrifying bundle of need you will ever experience. Snuggle him. But call me when you can’t. Make rules for him, but call me when you don’t want to. Love him, but call me when you don’t like him. Because there will be those times, and as much as you love that baby he will make you crazy and frightened and miserable to tears because you know you can’t possibly love someone so much that their every breath, sigh or look means the very essence of your being.

All of my thoughts and wishes are going out to the new moms out there today as I remember what it felt like in those early days.  There’s nothing like it.  My heart is full to brimming with memories of holding my own babies, of the wonder, the smell and the feel of those first snuggles.