About 4 years ago, an old friend of mine had a baby and it wasn’t going well.
She mentioned uncontrolled crying (on her part) and thoughts of throwing the baby out the 3rd floor window. She knew she wouldn’t throw the baby out of the 3rd floor window, but My Lord she thought about it.
I asked her what she thought it would be like, as I hadn’t had a child at that point. She mentioned things like rocking in her expertly picked out antique rocking chair and gazing lovingly at her baby as the afternoon sun went down and homemade soup sat bubbling on the stove.
Based on her expectations and how things were going for her then, I thought I could somehow get a grasp on what a newborn would be like. After Franklin was born, the not sleeping and the crying and the body that still doesn’t belong to you would have all been more manageable if my breasts weren’t rock-hard globes of fire and pus.
Nevertheless, I do think of those days fondly. I knew that whatever happened, I could handle it. I bit through the pain, I woke up for each feeding and I kept going on (and on and on and on). For me, this young baby was a clean slate and something I knew needed only the most basic things. I could handle that.
What I knew I would be scared of is the parenting we are at now; the less basic, more complex issues that make me feel like there is no opportunity to do anything over, there is no rewind button. Either I get it right or he is subliminally horrified for the rest of his life. Our first memories are formed at around his age. He’s three, he’s asking questions, he’s noticing things, he’s feeling so many emotions – sometimes it seems he’s feeling them all at the same time. I want to create the most well-adjusted human being I can – but I worry I don’t have much to give.
I’m not well adjusted.
I know I haven’t jumped on the Parade of Pain bandwagon much compared to others and apparently, this pisses off a few people. It is not my thing. There are issues I deal with daily (especially these days it seems) but I choose not to write about them. Please don’t think I’m criticizing people who write about their more personal trials. They are who they are and I am who I am and well… why do I have to write more about that than I already have?
Everyone has his or her issues.
Everyone thinks they are screwing up their children. I’m sure I’m not screwing up mine any more than the average over-anxious mother. I’m just saying that these days I’m hyper aware that anything D and I say or do could be one of Franklin’s very first memories.
Very. First. Memories.
That’s so important.
I find it hilarious that it’s only now that I fully realize that yes, we are raising a human being.
He’s a human being.
Hopefully, he will be fully functioning.