Though really, I always do.
Emory is asleep now. I just sang to him, nursed him, and rocked him. I didn't want to say goodnight though. It's amazing to me that I feel that way after a long day of not seeing much of Jon, but I do. My little man is becoming more and more of a friend to me, and I thank him for choosing me to be his mother. So I miss him when he sleeps, and Jon and I go in to check on him so many times before we go to bed--not because we need to, but because we want to see his precious face sleeping and dreaming.
Becoming a parent is by far the most challenging thing I have ever done, but it's also the most rewarding thing I have ever experienced. To see Emory grow and learn and develop brings me so much joy beyond even what I thought I could feel as a mother.
I think of this time about a year ago when I hated being pregnant (even if I always looked forward to having a baby at the end of the nine months). I attended my last month of school, commuting at least an hour each way while being tired, nauseated, stressed, hungry, not myself, you name it. And then when I graduated, I had an identity crisis of sorts, thinking that I would never feel fulfilled being just a mother, that I would need more, and need it immediately.
I am so grateful Emory has humbled me enough to realize that even if he is the only child I ever have, and even if I never go back to school, I'll still feel satisfied because I know I can take part in his growth and observe his life. I have the feeling I'll have more children and earn a master's degree, but when that happens doesn't matter as much to me anymore. I'm thrilled to spend my days singing about ducks and frogs and blowing on Emory's belly because it makes him giggle.
What amazes me most is how a baby can teach me volumes about love and trust. When he looks into my eyes, he knows I can take care of him, which is more than I know at times. He trusts me to do so, and because I do love him, I try with all I have.
I sing him a French hymn, Souviens-toi, that I appreciate more and more as I think about the words. Though there is no English equivalent, I'll leave a rough translation, but it is so much more beautiful and eloquent in French.
Souviens-toi, mon enfant
Souviens-toi, mon enfant: Tes parents divins
te serraient dans leurs bras, ce temps ne’st pas loin.
Aujourd’hui, tu es là, présent merveilleux,
ton regard brille encore du reflet des cieux.
Parle-moi, mon enfant, de ces lieux bénis
car pour toi est léger le voile d’oubli.
Souviens-toi, mon enfant des bois, des cités.
Pouvons-nous ici-bas les imaginer?
Et le ciel jusqu’au soir, est-il rose ou gris ?
Le soleil attend-il la neige ou la pluie?
Conte-moi, mon enfant, la couleur des prés
et le chant des oiseaux d’un monde oublié.
Souviens-toi, mon enfant : A l’aube des temps,
nous étions des amis jouant dans le vent.
Puis un jour, dans la joie nous avons choisi
d’accepter du Seigneur le grand plan de vie.
Ce soir-là, mon enfant, nous avons promis
par l’amour, par la foi, d’être réunis.
Remember, My Child
Remember, my child : not long ago,
your divine parents held you in their arms.
Today you are here, marvelously present.
Your gaze still shines with the reflection of heaven.
Talk to me, my child, about that blessed place,
because for you the veil is still thin.
Remember, my child, the forests, the cities.
Can we imagine them from down here?
And the sky at night, is it pink or gray?
The sun, is it waiting for snow or rain?
Describe to me, my child, the color of the meadows
and the birdsongs of a forgotten world.
Remember, my child: at the dawn of time,
we were friends playing in the wind.
Then one day in joy we chose to accept
the Lord’s grand plan of life.
That night, my child, we promised through love,
and through faith, to be reunited.
Since the first week of Emory's life, I have felt that the power of our bond is greater than I understand. The words of this hymn help me learn more about what it means for me to be a mother, and specifically a mother to such a precious little boy.
I adore him.