It's hard to believe that my son is four years-old today. Sometimes it feels like I had him yesterday, sometimes like a million years ago. He was a gift after five unexplained miscarriages and a circumspect acceptance of a life without children.
I was never sure that I wanted to be a mother. Some women know for sure, but I didn't. I'm the oldest of five children. I understood early on that children were all consuming and often difficult and greatly hampered any notion of independence, and so I waffled and waited and waited and finally took a chance. And after I took that first chance, I had plenty of time to think about that decision before I finally became pregnant with him.
Motherhood has not all been rosy and there have been plenty of struggles, though it has gotten easier as we've learned to speak the same language. When he was younger, I never found him in any of the manuals, never felt like the experiences I read about had anything to do with me. I put the books away, as I finally understood that they would be of no help.
I was blessed with a very intense, willful, observant, bright, energetic, stubborn child with a heart of gold and affection to spare. If I hadn't been so exhausted in the days when he was a newborn, I might have understood what the pediatrician and the child development specialist on the street, and even strangers, were trying to tell me when they said, "he's so alert." What they really meant was that I was in trouble and he was going to give me a run for my money. Truth be told, I wouldn't have it any other way. He is so beautiful and smart, and full of spirit and life and laughter. How could I want any less?
He's growing up so quickly and for all his independence, we are joined at the heart. I was surprised by him and blessed, but I had no idea that his birth was truly just the beginning. My grandmother taught me to recognize love, my husband gave me the acceptance and freedom I needed to learn to love, and my son carved out a whole new corridor in my heart.
Happy birthday, my sweet boy.