Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This is motherhood

April 13, 2010


Thank you. I don't think I've said that enough and I don't think I can say it enough.
Thank you for everything. For your calm strength and for your moments of vicious anger. Thank you.

Yesterday I had an experience that has finally, in a way, made me see the vast job that motherhood is. I knew what I was in for when H was born a year and a half ago, but yesterday it all became to real for me.
It really came to me yesterday while I was in emergency with H. I was alone with him, keeping him company on the little bed they had given him, behind our curtain in the busy emergency ward when a nurse came and told me that she would be taking H to get some X-rays done. I picked him up and he hugged me so tightly, mom. I rubbed his back, I could tell he was upset. I rubbed his back like you rubbed my back when I would get upset. You still do this and I love it, I never want you to stop doing it. We walked into the room and there were two other nurses there, both very nice ladies, soft spoken. They seemed to ready to prepare me for something awful - their tone, the way they seemed to walk on egg-shells around H and I. One of the nurses came up and told me that in order to get a X ray of a young child, that they would have to place him in this device that would hold him still. She warned me that it looked awful and that he would most likely cry, but wanted me to know that it wouldn't hurt him and it would all be over soon.
They put one of those heavy X ray covers on me and I watched as two nurses carefully placed H on this small, bicycle like seat. He looked over at me and started to cry. As they held up his hands and encircled his body in the clear plastic, he started to howl and sob. In the back of my head, I heard your voice, telling me that when I am calm, H would be calm and when I am upset, H would be upset. I did my best not to cry as I watched my poor boy in that contraption, but he just looked so sad, so dejected and so upset by the situation that I too, started to cry.

I quickly composed myself, leaned down and told him what a good boy he was and that it would all be over soon and he could have a big hug and that I was so proud of him. I told him all these things as calm and comforting as I could. I wish it would have stopped him from crying, just soothed him enough, but he wasn't ready for that. As soon as they opened the plastic around his body, he reached for me and I pulled him from the device and hugged him. Again, those tiny arms wrapped tightly around me and we hugged each other, my hand rubbing his back.

By the time we were getting ready to leave the X Ray room, he stopped sobbing. The nurses gave him two stickers for being brave - one with a dog, one with a cat, but both with the caption "I WAS BRAVE." He played with the stickers and looked so happy.

As I stayed there with him, waiting for a doctor to come back to see us, I felt angry and upset and confused and concerned. My son wasn't feeling well, my son was having issues and I could only do so much to clam him, to keep him comfortable. I never want him to be in a state like that again and I never want to feel that hopeless with him again.

But, I thought, this is the curse of motherhood. I brought this beautiful being into the world and forever we will be bound to each other on such a crazy level. I sense him and I smell him on me even when he's not around. This mother bond is intense, and crazy and beautiful all at the same time and I felt it so strongly last night and I felt the hopelessness it can make you feel when you can't do anything to help, when you can fix what is wrong.

So thank you for being the strong women that I needed you to be in those moments. The moments when I was too young to tell you what was wrong, but you comforted me. The moments when I fell down and hurt myself and you where there to clean me up and kiss me better. Thank you for the moments when I said words to intentionally hurt you and you still kissed and hugged me the next day.

Thank you.