Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bon's first question, part two

Owen's birth changed me to the core. Being his source of life, the woman who carried him for 9 months, nurtured him with her own milk, and met his endless, ever-changing needs flipped a switch in me. Suddenly, I knew mother love, a brand new, intoxicating emotion.

When I think back to those early days with Owen, I really do remember them as drunken. I was high on baby, consumed with his every movement, gesture, sigh, burp, yawn. When he was asleep, I journaled about him and organized his pictures. I shot hours of videotape, meticulously recorded his milestones, read parenting book after parenting book. I was utterly, hopelessly smitten.

Though I consider Bailey a daughter to me, I am not her mother in the same way I am Owen's mother. Bailey has a mother--a wonderful one--who lives only a few miles from me and John. Bailey sees or talks to her mother every day. When she is sad or excited or upset, she will settle for me if she has to, but her mother is the first place she turns, even when she's with us.

I am Owen's first place to turn, and being that kind of mother changed my life. Everything shifted. All that I'd considered important--career, ambition, travel--was instantly downgraded. Being Owen's mother fulfilled me in a way I'd never imagined. A brand new feeling unfolded in me, and I saw right away there was no going back. Once you experience mother love, you are ever more a mother, and you will always see the world through those eyes.

In November of 2001, when I gazed down at that squirmy, squinting newborn, I knew I was face to face with the meaning of life.


MadMad said...

You're never quite expecting it to hit you the way it does, are you? Great post!

Aliki2006 said...

I'm catching up on these answers--great response! It's amazing what that first pregnancy will do, how it will change one's life so utterly.

Bon said...

there really is no going back from that moment. thanks, Ashley...looking forward to the rest.

slouching mom said...

Lovely. I know this all-consuming feeling. We all do, I think.