Friday, April 20, 2012

Oh, Baby! Thoughts on Motherhood

Mama and Mosey

I find it utterly impossible to write about my baby boy. See, even that phrase, "baby boy," sounds so ridiculous to me. I've always been terrified of sounding sentimental or gushing over my little life loves. I've come to this page a dozen times in the past two months with a genuine and open heart, but each time I begin to write something I feel hoodwinked by motherhood. To be clear, I adore motherhood and feel that if I didn't get this gray clouded feeling when I stopped writing, I would devote myself almost entirely to the job. That and remodeling/rearranging the furniture and nick-knacks in my apartment...perfecting the art of latte making and baking pastries.

The surreal nature of having a child hasn't begun to dissipate for me. It's magical and confusing and a place of dazed wonderment. I try to explain to my husband the many faces of our baby...I say, "it's like he has multiple persons" to which he responds, "or just a range of emotions." But that doesn't capture the feeling I have that he is entirely different when sleeping--though, in reflection, I don't watch other people sleep--then when he's playing on his playment or watching  I can't help feeling that my baby is splendidly beautiful or imagining the warm, kind and loving personality he'll most certainly possess as a little boy and a grown one. I'm terrified in particular about how or what he'll think of me. What if he grows to hate me? What if I'm one of those overprotective, "helicopter" parents? What if he's a writer and finds my writing an embarrassment? Or what if he's disappointed in the semi-impovrished lifestyle his father and I have chosen. Oh, the what ifs.


Baby in the bath--I am the oldest of 6 and I
always remember giving the baby a bath in the sink.
At home with my mother we gave Moses a bath in her kitchen sink.
She holds him here.


You see, in general, I try to contain my motherhood urges...such as plastering photos of my son all over fb, or gushing to friends about every little thing he does, (grandmas, however, love to hear these stories) each quirk and new trick he learns, how cute he looks in blue, orange, yellow, green...well, most colors.

However, I am reminded of my father and the way he tried to humble us as kids, which sort of only brought on early low-self esteem issues. Good old Dad once told me that he was worried we (his five daughters) might get big headed about our good looks so he tried to down-play them...and, he said, I guess it kind of backfired. He was referring to the low quality of boyfriends accumulated amongst us at the time. It's true, I dated some real doozies: they were always pathological liars and addicts for some reason. As an adult, I slowly learned how to celebrate my sucesses rather than bashfully stare at the floor or deflect the compliment. I don't know how many years I felt stunned (really, stunned) when someone took a compliment with a simple "thanks" (yes, it's true I do look good in blue).

I think about my son loudly pooping while sitting on my lap as I checked in at the Doctor's office. His face revealed a calm satisfaction, a pleasure, at a job well done. I'm so used to this noise and the way his pooping dicates his mood, that I forgot to smile and laugh until the lady checking us in did. Then I turned to him and mouthed, "good job, buddy!"

Mosey with his pals

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