Posted by Anonymous.
In a few hours midnight will come and I will slip down the hall to his room and lean over his sleeping form -so big!- and speak my love in whispers, in my mind, in my heart which needs no language. He will not wake, but I will imagine that his heart will hear.
He is my first love, love that wrenched my soul. How often have I read the blogs of other women who struggle to keep their identities underneath this crushing, precious wave of love? How often have I struggled with that myself, wondered if all I was, all I would ever be, was defined by those I love? Isn't that who he turned me into, seven years (almost!) ago? What identity did I have to keep, anyway? I wasn't a teenager when he was born, but not long from it. I was just beginning to emerge from that shell of daughter, sister into a fragile, barely-formed Me when he came, shattering all that, forever branding me mother.
It almost wasn't so. I tried to dial the number to the clinic, phone in my hand, frozen by the burden of choice. It's for the best, my friend told me. We can't do this, we're not ready. This from the father, though my mind shied away from words like father and baby. Did I know then? Did I understand on some level how a child changes you, dominates mind and heart and soul, turns you into someone you don't recognize? I could stop it. Dial the number, make the appointment, go and stay myself. Become myself on my own terms.
I can't. Tears pouring down my face, voice barely a whisper. Be rational. they said. Be practical, think about this. This will ruin your life, our lives. I couldn't be rational or practical, I couldn't think. All I had was that bone-deep certainty. I can't. Where did that come from? From him, that tiny clump of cells I couldn't wrap my mind around? From myself? Had I already changed?
I became someone. Loving him, I learned to choose wisely whom else to love. In protecting him, I learned to be brave. In failing him, I learned how to forgive, myself and my parents and others. Wondering how to teach him, I learned what I believed in. In imagining the kind of man I hoped he would be, I found a man who would cherish both him and me.
I've had more children. Even as I write this, I feel the fierce kicks of another who will both fill my heart and break it. But it started with him, my first love.
He made me a mother. But he also made me Me.