You might say I’m a crier: sad movies, sweet commercials, an email about my baby’s first school pictures. I find this trait about myself downright annoying at times, but I’m sure some of you mamas out there can relate.
You know when you won’t find me crying? When my baby boy does. It sounds counter-intuitive, right?! Please let me explain.
Like about half of all boys’ parents, we opted to have a certain delicate surgical procedure done the day after he was born. It was one of the very few times that he and I were separated during our post-birth stay at the hospital. And when they brought him back to us, and we changed his diaper for the first time after that procedure, I involuntarily sucked in my breath and choked on my words. It was so red! And he cried so loudly, and I was so afraid that he might be hurting I could feel tears starting to fall from my own eyes.
Without hesitation, the nurse, one of many wonderful nurses at Danbury Hospital, looked me straight in the eyes and in a firm, no-nonsense voice said,
“You are his mom. You have to be strong for him.”
And that was all it took. I sucked it in, held back my tears, and learned how to use the gauze and Bacitracin we would need until he was 100% healed. (Which, thankfully, happened very quickly!)
Now, almost 17 months later, I still hear those words in my head every time my little man gets a shot. I hear them when he has his blood drawn or falls and hurts himself while figuring out how to walk and run like a big boy. I’m his mom! And the gravity of that still takes my breath away.
Although most days I feel like I have volumes left to learn, at the end of each day, I am amazed at this incredible gift I’ve been given. And I try to remember that I’m doing a good job. That I’m a good mom. In all honesty, it can be hard to remember that when I’m knee-deep in laundry or scrubbing marinara sauce off the floor! (Baby boy thinks it’s hilarious to “share” his dinner with our cocker spaniel). But each day makes me a little bit stronger. Every day is a lesson, good or bad.
“You are his mom. You have to be strong for him.” It was the best lesson I learned at the hospital. Even better than how to swaddle! And since we are thrilled to be adding ANOTHER BABY BOY to our family this August (wahoo!), it’s a lesson I’ll put to good use all over again.
It’s true that having a baby changes everything. It still surprises me each time I don’t cry at the pediatrician’s office! I also thought I’d wait as long as possible to let my little man try sweets, but he was enjoying Ferris Acres ice cream well before he could walk.