Learning together

By Published On: November 16th, 2015

Your bitty tears break my heart. Little puddles form in […]

Your bitty tears break my heart. Little puddles form in your hazel eyes, and I want to kiss them away, one by one, until your smile returns. You’re famous for your glittering grin, but when the tears come—those mysterious tears—they fall fast and warm.
Last night your cries were a true mystery—you were clean, fed and warm, yet your tears flowed like the monsoons of August. I felt like a scientist as I attempted to discover what ailed you. Was it boredom? We played with blocks and tried reading a book, but the tears continued to fall. Perhaps you wanted to rock and sway? I played country music, and we danced slowly—but it didn’t seem to help.
IMG_1865Your tears kept falling, so I held you close, sang our song and prayed you would feel comfort. Your little body sprawled across my chest, and you snuggled so close: It felt like we were made for each other. I suppose, little buddy, that’s because we truly were. Why then, why oh why, couldn’t I calm your fears?
You knew how much I wanted to help you. Your eyes gazed into mine—both the same mix of green and brown—and seemed to forgive me for not solving every problem. I felt you say, “Its OK, I know you’re trying …” as your little hands grabbed my chest. We both know that I would do anything for you, but sometimes I’m not sure what the right thing to do is.
As your mom, I feel like I should always be able to calm and comfort you. I’m pretty good at it 95 percent of the time, but that still leaves me searching for answers every so often. Can I tell you a secret? I didn’t receiving training or certification for this mothering job—I’m Googling sleep, calling grandma about eczema and praying that I figure everything out, stat.
You’re developing into a strong and healthy little boy, and I’m learning (right alongside you) how to be a nurturing and caring mother. I’m learning about self-sacrifice and dirty diapers, and you’re learning about trust and solid foods. I’m wondering how to make you strong enough to endure heartbreak, and you’re trying to stand tall without tumbling down. Together, we’re exploring the nature of connection and unconditional love.
How many times have you heard me say that I’ll do it differently the second time around? That I’ll teach your siblings ‘drowsy but awake,’ and place a room thermometer in their nursery? I’m doing the best I can, but, truth-be-told, I’ll be wiser the second, third and (because you’ve been such fun) perhaps fourth time around. And you know what, bitty boy? I’ll have you to thank. Perhaps I’ll do it now? Yes, I think I will: Thank you, sweet Max. Thank you for teaching me how to be a mom.