Thursday, September 07, 2006

all my lists won't really help, will they?

This morning I was thinking about Yankee, Transferred and Jo(e) who are each watching one of their children head off to college. Jo(e)'s eldest son and Yankee's older daughter are beginning their new adventures this year as freshman at their respective universities. I know that watching your child spread their wings and make the natural progression to leaving your home brings with it a whirlwind of emotions, but for me, this morning, it brought a crying jag lasting over an hour.

I have moments when the happiness of a solitary kick or roll can bring me to tears, but today I am terrified at the thought that someday this baby will leave me. Someday soon, I won't be able to simply cover my belly with my hands to shield it from the outside world. Much sooner than I can even fathom, I'll have to watch this baby walk away from me at a playground, or at the doors of preschool, or for a school dance, or for college. They are all things I want for my child, of course, but if I love this tiny thing so much already, when we haven't even met, how will I ever be able to let go?

It scares me to death.

It makes me wonder how I could allow myself to do this, make myself so vulnerable? And yesterday, when I read on Chris' blog that you wait 9 months for this baby to come out, to see for yourself that he or she is safe. When really, the only time your baby is really safe is when she is safely esconced in your uterus. That just makes me burst into tears all over again.

I'm not a person that opens herself up to hurt or pain, although I admit that I am rather sensitive. I tend to protect my emotions more often than not, but in this case, I've made this decision that will change my life forever. It will never be about just me or just me and Josh ever again.

And the day I finally give birth to this wee kicking monkey, I'll have to share him or her with everyone else. When I think about it that way, the first 6 months seem so easy, because at least this baby will rely on Josh and I for everything, and I can shelter him or her in my arms. But as soon as he crawls, or walks, or runs, I'll have to learn to start letting go.

But how do you do it? Also, how do you stop crying long enough to do it?

14 comments:

donna said...

Wow, you and I have so many of the same fears about our babies. I was just thinking this morning that one of the reasons I don't want pregnancy to end is that then others will take him or her from me, to hold, to diaper, to play with. I'm so selfish. I've gotten him or her all to myself for so long and I still want more.

I'm sure that I will welcome the help of my husband and family members who will happily take a crying baby to soothe when I am tired, but right now, I don't like that thought at all.

And I can't even think about school, much less college.....

chatty cricket said...

As many tears as you will shed over the years, you will laugh equally as much. Watching your baby grow up and blossom into his or her little self is such an amazing privilege and pretty soon you'll just want to bask in the wonder of it all.

I shed tears all the time over how much Lady is growing and changing and how she's independant. But also? She loves us and always comes back for another hug (even when we're at the playground, is that love or what? Walking away form the swings to hug your Mom)

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine had words of wisdom, over the summer, watching her first-born preparing to leave for college. "God makes teenagers so obnoxious you can't wait to see them go."

nancy said...

To answer your question: You don't.

But that is what parenthood is all about. We smother them in love and protection and hopes and dreams and simply do our bestest of the best and then all we can do is hope for the bestest of the best.

That's all we can really do. But it's good. It's all so very good.

amygeekgrl said...

Awww, HL. Big hugs to you.
I'm still at the beginning of this parenting journey with a 2 year old, but I know that for all the fears and tears, they are so many smiles and laughs as well.
Life is made up of many, many moments. Enjoy the moments. :)

Mrs. Chicky said...

You haven't even had the baby yet and you're already worried about letting him or her go?

Yeah, that seems pretty normal. :)

I have a 16 month old and she still needs me and shows no signs of stopping, even though she can run away from me. You've got that baby for a good long time, enjoy it and try (ha!) not to dwell on one day. Good luck with that.

Suzanne said...

Oh, this feeling is so strong, and I don't know how much it ever dissipates. I know it probably doesn't help much, but feeling like this now just shows you how much more you'll love your baby once he or she is born. Hugs, HL!

jo(e) said...

You lose the baby, you gain the toddler, you lose the toddler, you gain the child, you lose the child, you gain the teenager, you lose the teenager, you gain the cool adult daughter or son. The loss is balanced every time by gain. That's the only thing that makes the loss tolerable.

I love that you've already figured out the most difficult part of being a parent. You are sooo ready for this.

tracey said...

What a wonderful post. What a thoughtful mother-to-be. SO glad I came over (from your comment at askmoxie). I have been dealing with these issues as my youngest just started preschool. Waaah.

I'm not sure about the sleep book you mentioned bu I will say that I wish I had read Mothershock by Andrea Buchanan before I had my baby and not over a year later. It's really a great one.

I also liked Touchpoints by T.Berry Brazelton (as more of a texty type).

ALl thes best to you as you embark on your motherjourney.

Ninotchka said...

My Illo Friday last week was about the same thing Chris wrote about. And, oh my, yes. I remember when I was pregnant with Natalie and when she was a baby, I just couldn't FATHOM her growing up, going to school, doing all the things she does now. I was so protective. I remember thinking I didn't even want people touching my baby, much less holding her. But you know what happens? That baby is born and your heart is so full of love and pride that you suddenly WANT to share h/her with the world. It's amazing. And while it does hurt to leave them and to see them grow up and leave you, it is also very gratifying to see them make their way. But yes, motherhood is a big ball of mixed emotions that you carry with you for the rest of your life. Most of the time in your chest but sometimes right there in your throat! LOL We don't like to talk about those times. :)

This babe is already so lucky to have you as its mami. I cannot wait to meet h/her!

Gawdessness said...

There will be moments when you are so tired or preoccupied that you won't think about it. Just moments here and there. Most of the time you just keep going forward.

Yankee, Transferred said...

What Jo(e) said. The changes are so wonderful that you don't lament the loss of the past. I promise you, each step is better than the last. Take lots of pictures, and write everything down along the way. It's fun to go back and look and read.

Anne Glamore said...

parenthood is an amazing contradiction of being proud when your kid shows independence, yet wanting to protect them always. It's hard, but there's nothing like it...

Much More Than A Mom said...

http://www.muchmorethanamom.com/?p=318
This is a post I wrote about mother love...

I feel your pain and your joy. The love is so strong that it is physically painful, yet so wonderful at the same time. Welcome to the club.