When I got pregnant with my son, I was terrified. I suppose most people are terrified when they find out they are expecting. But I am an only child with very, very little experience with kids.
Frankly? I didn't like them much. Mostly (I now realize) because I didn't know what the hell to do with them. Imagine someone runs up to you and hands you a koala. They say "Here! This is legally & morally yours! Take care of it!" Do you know anything about marsupial care? Are eucalyptus leaves really the best food for them? And where does one find the best eucalyptus? What do they drink? How do they drink? Can I get a koala bottle at PetsMart? Crap. It is awfully cute tho...
So, I find out I'm going to be a mommy. Surprise! I was terrified that I would not develop that bond with my offspring that mothers are supposed to have. During pregnancy, I did not feel any kind of magical bond with my baby. Most of what I felt was along the lines of "wow, I'm getting fat!" or "Gee, a baby kick feels a lot like gas" or "dammit, quit kicking my bladder."
Not quite the spiritual "mother" experience that I was expecting.
But once I had my son? Things changed. Don't get me wrong, the "what the hell am I doing" part still hasn't gone away (hence the name of my blog...), but that child became my reason for breathing. I discovered a level of love that I did not know existed.
And honestly? It scares the crap out of me to love someone so much.
Despite being a fiercely loving (and perhaps occasionally a smidge overprotective) mama bear, I have kind of a love/hate relationship with being a parent. I considered describing my feelings as bipolar, but I would feel like an ass for doing that after I read Adrienne's excellent points on the subject at No Points for Style .
Me and my stupid principles, anyway.
I love that Boo can always make me feel better. If I stub my toe? He will pet my toe, tell me it's ok, & ask me if it's all better.
I hate that I've had to retrain my truck driver mouth so Boo is not dropping F bombs in preschool. I had a very colorful (and often extremely therapeutic) vocabulary. Commuting without my full vocabulary? Not cool. But, I don't want to get that many phone calls from assorted parents & school administrations. "Mrs. B? About your son...We do not believe 'asshat' is appropriate language in this environment. We have other children to consider. And what exactly is a 'fuckstick?'" These are conversations I don't need to be having.
I love to see him learn and develop new skills.
I hate that with every new skill learned, I have to be on the lookout for the new trouble that he is now capable of causing and/or getting into.
I love that he told me that I have to stay young (he thinks I'm young!!) because if I get old I will die.
I hate that my little guy knows about death and fears my death. Seriously, it made me cry when he said that. Even if he was on the toilet at the time.
I love that he inspires me to be a better and (occasionally) more mature version of myself.
I hate that I have to be mature. I'm not very good at it.
I love that being a parent forces me to really examine and understand my principles.
I hate that my principles won't allow me to be a hypocrite, and I actually have to follow the principles I'm trying to teach him if I expect him to take me seriously.
I love that he comes to snuggle with me when he's hurt or sick.
I hate that he has to be hurt or sick to spend any length of time snuggling with me. When everyone told me to enjoy the infant stage? I should've listened more closely.
I love that I understand him better than anyone else in the world.
I love that seeing him first thing in the morning or when I walk in to preschool at the end of the day never fails to brighten my day.
I love that he will sometimes say "Oh, nice dress mommy!" When I walk into his room to get him up in the morning. And he SO did not learn this from Hub, I might add. Hub is not that free & easy with the wardrobe compliments. If I don't have any organs hanging out? Hub is happy...assuming that other people are going to see me, that is.
I love that he needs me.
I hate that as he gets older, he'll need me less and less.
I love that as he gets older, he'll need me less and less.
I fear that I can't control how his life will turn out.
I hope that I lay a strong enough foundation that he will make good choices.
I fear that all those alcoholic genes that he has might be too much for him to control.
I hope that our example of moderation and honest attitude will be enough to take some of the mystery and taboo excitement out of alcohol.
I fear that I will not be strong enough to let him go and let him be his own man.
I hope that in the time it takes him to grow into his own man, I will have grown enough myself that I can let him go.
I fear that he may not realize his potential, that he may not grow into the man I see that he could be.
I hope that he does realize his potential and becomes more than I could've ever hoped he would be.
I fear what's out in the world, what could happen to him.
I hope that he grows with experience and comes out on the other side of adversity a stronger, better man.
There is so much that fills my heart and tears at it, all at the same time. It is a very dichotomous feeling, both fulfilling and frightening. There are times? That I'm scared to the point of tears.
With this post? I haven't even addressed my fears for my stepdaughter...that is a whole other animal.
Being a parent? Is some seriously scary and mindbending shit.
And I would never, ever trade it. For anything. Ever.