Monday, May 9, 2011

Three Little Birds...

For the majority of my life I never thought I would be a mom. I wanted to be a million and one things; a writer, a book store owner, a forensic psychologist, a journalist… I can name you a whole slew of things but being somebody’s mother was never at the top of the list. Even as I got older and as the saying goes supposedly “wiser” I never pictured my self with a baby; changing diapers, singing someone to sleep, sitting at the table with a burp cloth over one shoulder and spit up down my shirt-my eyes glazed over with less than subtle exhaustion. The ideas and concepts that I associated with having a child were ones that I categorized as restricting and as I watched friends and acquaintances settle down and have babies I did the exact opposite and moved down South to New Orleans. Looking back its funny how a move that was meant to embrace the fact that I really had nothing to hold me back from doing whatever I wanted ended up being the one thing that completely and wonderfully changed my life in a way that was previously unimaginable.

When I found out I was pregnant I was terrified. Who was I to be raising a child and more importantly how was I going to raise a child? After all, the previous weekend my roommate and I had spend an entire evening brainstorming our roller derby names (we weren’t even on a roller derby team if that tells you anything) while sipping Abita on our steps and listening to David Bowie. In my mind this wasn’t the behavior of a mother. As selfish as it sounds now I seriously felt like my life, the independent, free spirited, almost bohemian web of a life I had envisioned for myself was gone. And in a way it was.

I was scared throughout my entire pregnancy. All the physical changes, the hormonal changes, there were times when I really just thought it was too much for me to handle. My pregnancy was tough; there was sickness and high blood pressure and low blood platelets. I constantly worried that I wouldn’t have what it took to raise a baby. I didn’t even know how to change a diaper, learning to swaddle was an uphill battle for me. But I was lucky, I had a great boyfriend and now husband to help me through, to talk me down from near hysterics and reassure me that everything was going to work out just fine.

I still question decisions I make when it comes to Lilah and I am pretty sure that will never change. I willing admit that yes, sometimes we may be to lenient with her or we may let her get away with murder when she looks at us with that amazing smile and those gorgeous eyes, but in the end I feel comfortable admitting that I am a good mom. Our daughter is brilliant, hilarious, well spoken, beautiful, full of character, independent and determined and I feel proud of what we have accomplished with her. Being a mom is a tough job but I learned from the best and if I can be even half the mom that mine is then I have a good thing going.

This past week I was reminded of how unexpected life can be, how its here one minute and the next its gone and there is nothing that can be done to prepare you for that. And while I want to do everything and anything in my heart to make sure that Lilah never hurts, never experiences heart break, never loses someone that she cares about I realize that it’s not possible. However I can wipe her tears away and I can pick her up when she feels like she can’t get off the ground and I can hug her until she wants nothing more than for me to let go and I will.

At least once a day I sing the song “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley to Lilah while she claps and smiles and nods her head along. I sing it to her to calm her and as she grows older and life gets harder and things don’t always turn out the way they should I hope she listens and remembers my voice in her head, gently singing;

“Don’t worry about a thing… cuz every little thing is gonna be alright”

Like I said, I sing it to calm her down but in reality it calms me down as well- those words remind me that things are going to be alright and it may not be the way I want or expect but I will get through it. I may not have ever thought or expected I would be a mom but in the end it is the one thing that I feel truly honored to be.

My two favorite girls.

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