The “if only”s.

My sweet boy.

As I’ve built this website, I’ve unintentionally had to remember and relive the “trenches” that were the first six months of your life.

I had realizations that came five years late.

Fraught discoveries at all that I didn’t know.

Wishes and hopes for the should-have could-have would-have but never-had.

I got stuck in the if onlys.

If only I could have better known your sleepy cues.

If only I could have better known your hunger cues.

If only I could have better known your signs of teething.

If only I could have better known the million things you were undoubtedly trying to tell me.

If only, if only, if only.

Instead, you were my bundle of hot, angry, and frustrated tears. Exhaustion, worn edges, and frayed emotions became you (and me, if we’re being honest). We lived, cried and grieved as one in the cavernous hallways of colic.

I tried.

To hear you, to see you, and to truss out from the misery of everything the need you were trying to communicate.

But that everything became one, and more often than not, I failed.

Yet here in the now, this is where I stop myself.

For in those failures – failures of first time mothering, failures of laughable pre-birth expectations, and failures of selflessness I wasn’t yet ready to let go of – I grew.

Those were the days that defined me.

If I had those if onlys, would I have learned to say fuck it and let go? To laugh at my utter lack of intuition, and just go for it on a wing and a prayer? To wade deeply into the murky Nile of motherhood, and still be able to find it’s soggy, muddy, messy beauty?

I don’t think so.

I intend not to write these soliloquies through rose coloured glasses, my mental health would have frankly moved mountains for those if onlys. My marriage with your father would have breathed sighs of reliefs in their reprieves.

But in those days, weeks and months — I became. In that battleground of exasperation, love, annoyance, and adoration (and the bravery to admit I felt all those ways), you taught me. You pushed me beyond myself. You gave me the greatest lesson I ever learned.

You made me a momma. ❤️

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Keeping us sane.

Shout out to the biggest thing that is keeping me sane during this period of pandemic isolation: daily, morning walks with my kid.

They’re long, meandering, and not always with rhyme and reason (as I am often subject to a four year old’s whims), but they are making this experience survivable and pleasant.

Now, if someone could please help my kid realize that paths with pebbles are all good to walk on, and not the devil itself, I’d love you for life.

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’cause HUGS.

(Quick note: O has never really been one for hugs or cuddles. He very infrequently gives hugs on his own volition and you often have to ask. They’ll last like a second and then he’s off to see the world again. It’s been like this for as long as I can remember.

1. When my kid sick, as he has been quite sick this week with the flu, a part of me is sad while another part is content. He cuddles when he’s sick! I get alllll the HUGS!

2. When he’s hugely mad and pissed off during hair wash time in the bath (his biggest enemy of the day), he demands hugs to make it end sooner. I don’t even care if it soaks me, he gets them, ‘cause HUGS.

3. When he’s stalling in not doing something D needs him to do, and uses hugging me to stall it even more, I’ll admittedly lean a bit more into those hugs than I should… ‘cause HUGS.

4. When I’m the one thing he can’t have (cause I’ve gotta be elsewhere or cause it’s D’s turn to do something) and he uses hugs to make it not so, I also lean into those and probably feed more into the situation than I should, but HUGS.

5. When I drop him off at childcare and I know I should be quick about it so separation is easier on him/me, but he’s giving me hugs, I’ll totally delay (sorry teachers) ‘cause HUGS.

Long story short, the potential of hugs make me a slightly terrible but awesome (?!) mom.

And, if I’m ignoring you or the whole ‘cause a hug is happening with my kid, it’s not you, it’s me.

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I will miss this.

With a heavy but accepting heart, our breastfeeding journey is now coming to an end.

These past seventeen months of my body helping feed and keep alive my son has been deeply profound (and at times frustrating, let’s be real).

This last picture of us before I switched to pumping (and before the world became too fascinating for him to stay latched) holds a place forever in my heart.

Thank you, breastfeeding, for helping me learn to love parts of my body that I never used to… and thank you, O, for letting me know now that it is time for us to move onto other journeys together. 💚⁣ ⁣

I will miss this so much.

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A year ago today.

A year ago today and ever since then…

You made me a mom. After years of uncertainty, you arrived. Squishy, small, loud and proud, you arrived and opened a door that I will never, ever close.

You taught me a meaning of love that was entirely and utterly selfless, eternal and profound to the absolute depths of my core.

You reopened within me a humour and laughter that was warm, joyous, tirelessly in love and kind. Forever my tickle and cuddle monster you will be.

You brought to my marriage a new lens to which I could view my husband/your dad. His hardened exterior crumbled just a bit more as he gave to you everything he could possibly give; compassion, tears, snuggles, worries and mirth.

You prompted a yearning for me to want to live in a better world and for me to be better myself, as I emulated my very best attempts at grace, dignity, respect and trust.

And finally, you gave to my career a new understanding, an unseen beauty, a purposeful slowing down and an opening of eyes. Not only to the image of the child, but to the image of the parent amongst a world that refuses to stand still.

So, no matter how tired, overwhelmed, anxious and unsure I have been throughout our journey thus far, I am forever and without question grateful for you.

Happy first birthday, my sweet boy. 💚⁣ ⁣

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