Wednesday, July 28, 2010

First Love

Posted by Anonymous.

In a few hours midnight will come and I will slip down the hall to his room and lean over his sleeping form -so big!- and speak my love in whispers, in my mind, in my heart which needs no language. He will not wake, but I will imagine that his heart will hear.

He is my first love, love that wrenched my soul. How often have I read the blogs of other women who struggle to keep their identities underneath this crushing, precious wave of love? How often have I struggled with that myself, wondered if all I was, all I would ever be, was defined by those I love? Isn't that who he turned me into, seven years (almost!) ago? What identity did I have to keep, anyway? I wasn't a teenager when he was born, but not long from it. I was just beginning to emerge from that shell of daughter, sister into a fragile, barely-formed Me when he came, shattering all that, forever branding me mother.

It almost wasn't so. I tried to dial the number to the clinic, phone in my hand, frozen by the burden of choice. It's for the best, my friend told me. We can't do this, we're not ready. This from the father, though my mind shied away from words like father and baby. Did I know then? Did I understand on some level how a child changes you, dominates mind and heart and soul, turns you into someone you don't recognize? I could stop it. Dial the number, make the appointment, go and stay myself. Become myself on my own terms.

I can't. Tears pouring down my face, voice barely a whisper. Be rational. they said. Be practical, think about this. This will ruin your life, our lives. I couldn't be rational or practical, I couldn't think. All I had was that bone-deep certainty. I can't. Where did that come from? From him, that tiny clump of cells I couldn't wrap my mind around? From myself? Had I already changed?

I became someone. Loving him, I learned to choose wisely whom else to love. In protecting him, I learned to be brave. In failing him, I learned how to forgive, myself and my parents and others. Wondering how to teach him, I learned what I believed in. In imagining the kind of man I hoped he would be, I found a man who would cherish both him and me.

I've had more children. Even as I write this, I feel the fierce kicks of another who will both fill my heart and break it. But it started with him, my first love.

He made me a mother. But he also made me Me.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just lovely. Thank you. My oldest is six and holds the same place in my heart and life...

Anonymous said...

Beautiful

A said...

Thank you so much for your brutally honest post. There are so many of us mothers out there who consider what you could not do. I couldn't do it either. I was 19 and in college. I have never looked back. She's 4 now. She is my life - and I am a mother. I wasn't ready, but we never are. I love being a mother (a single mother at that). I wouldn't change it for the world. Again, thank you. Such a beautifully written piece. Congratulations on your soon to be second child!

Anonymous said...

This gave me goosebumps! So beautifully written -- you captured motherhood perfectly.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post! Brought tears to my eyes and made me smile at the same time.

Maggie said...

Wow, that is both beautiful and universal. Thank you for putting that into words!

Anonymous said...

I love this. You have a way with words that I wish I had. I feel the same way about my first. Thank you for putting words to this most amazing part of life, part of me.

Lizzie said...

Absolutely heartbreakingly true. I also was 19 and left college...and so glad I did! He and his brother give me so much joy every day, and without them I could never have done half of what I do. I only hope I can give them a tiny bit of the love, hope and inspiration they give to me continually. Thank you for reminding me again of the preciousness of what we have, and how glad I am that I kept my first baby, and then had my second. xoxoxo!

Anonymous said...

One of the most beautiful pieces of writing I have ever absorbed. Wow.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this story! I left graduate school to have my first and am glad I did!

Also, I was adopted, so if my biological mother had aborted me, I wouldn't be here to type this today!

Anonymous said...

I stopped at the second sentence because I didn't understand what I read so far..sorry.

gaynycdad said...

I completely relate. And I am the one who has the role of mom. I walk by his room when he is asleep and say, I love you Paul! He gave me life.
www.gaynycdad.com

CR said...

Beautifully written. My heart made its way into my throat as I choked back tears of understanding. What a wonderful life you have made for yourself and your son. Your words are a true gift to mothers from all walks of life.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had your strengh in 2003. No day passes without regret. I hope others have an opportunity to read this, and make the right choice- life.

Anonymous said...

Awesome...the depth of love for a child is unimaginable until you are there...I mean there...with the child...for many..."there" comes at different times..some before they meet their babies...for some...from the day they know it is coming...Some...much later...but "there" happens....And you are never the same after that...You are better than who you were without this person you helped make...God bless you for your decision...God HAS BLESSED you with your decision...to love....To the one above this comment who made the other decision and regrets every day, just ask God to forgive you and heal you and give you peace, and He will. Live your life knowing what you know now, and don't look back.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm the writer of this, and I'm amazed and humbled by the compliments! Thank you so much! I wrote this a few months ago, the night before my son's 7th birthday. It just came out of me, but I hesitated to put it on my blog.

To the poster who congratulated me on my second child, thank you so much, but I was actually pregnant with my third when I wrote this. She was born three weeks ago and I also have a 2 year-old little girl.

I hesitate to say this, I certainly don't want to start any kind of rancorous debate her (it's why I didn't have the guts to put it on my blog), but I feel I should clear up a misconception. I AM pro-choice, very much so. I just learned when I was 20 that abortion was not a choice I could personally make. I certainly wouldn't speak for anyone else.

Thank you all again for your wonderful comments! They made me cry (in a good way!).

MotherMayI said...

This was beyond beautiful. I know I'm a first time mom and I got pregnant with my little one when I was in high school still and even though it's a struggle raising him I wouldn't give it up for the world, he's my everything and I couldn't think of my life without him.

BeckoningBalance~ said...

This is absolutely beautiful and touches the heart. Best to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

To you who wrote this...it's wonderful and beautiful! And I love that you returned to clarify that you are pro-choice...but just made your own. Congratulations to you and your family!