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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