May 12, 2002

It's Mothers Day. Where do I begin?

The scary, hopeful, amazing journey of pregnancy? The realization that this is a trip of uncertain destination with no return ticket. The labor. Is it labor? What is it supposed to feel like? No one can really tell me. The mystery of it all.

The amazing thought that you have created a human being. From scratch. No kits. No instructions.

Those first few days, wondering if I was doing the wrong thing. Had I done the wrong thing, making this commitment to this man. Deep in my heart, knowing this was the single most important thing in my life, this child. This child would be special. This child was meant to be. Hoping I wouldn't screw it up too bad.

I realize now what a struggle it was. Knowing this man that was my husband did not want this responsibility. That he had just been playing a game, with unexpected consequences. Knowing my parents did not approve of this man, of having this child. No one was happy - except, secretly, me. An immediate bond. This life. This child. More precious than gold.

The difficult birth. The problems. Not what the movies showed. No joyous moment of cradling this new life to my chest, of her hearing my voice, getting my scent, seeing the blur of my smile. A table in the distance, a crowd of hospital green, murmurs. Confusion. Exhaustion.

I still can't stand to look at those pictures of the early days. So thin, so fragile. My fault, all my fault, wasn't it? I didn't nurture her, this body. Why didn't I know more? All the baby-sitting, the daycare jobs. But not for those early days. The wisdom of those days needs to be passed on. It was not. I must make sure I do.

Then, the wisdom and experience of that wonderful nurse. The doctors with all their tests and dire predictions. The answer so simple. Forest for the trees. They studied the trees, she saw the forest. And my baby thrived. My favorite picture of that chubby, smiling cherub. The one that shows I finally got it right, knew what I was doing, got it together despite everything else that was falling apart.

My marriage finally revealed for the sham it was. A deception. A deception that became a trap of his own making. I've released the hunter, with no regrets. Except for my child. She deserved better. A father who finds as much joy in her existance as I do.

I love you, Bean. With all my heart.

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