I remember my younger self, that day. I remember the swollen ankles, the hair in a knot, that sense of destiny coming my way.
I remember every details, and in a way it does seem, like everybody always say, like yesterday.
Except, it isn’t. And if I listen closely, it doesn’t seem like yesterday at all. How young and unprepared and naive I was. (I still am, but in a different way.)
My boy was born quickly, hungry for life. He was tall and thin and hold on to me as a shell on its rock. He made a mom out of me. Of all people, out of me – the most improbable of all.
It was him that made me a mom. It was his little miracle, day one.
Few hours into day one, actually: that strange moment when I looked into his little cub eyes and I suddenly saw reflected the tiger I became.
It all made sense, all the past, all the future, even my roaring in the “natural birth” room. Ready to be his mom. To protect him, to encourage him, to be there for him. I fell in love, eight hours or so after our first encounter.
We’ve been through a lot, together. In the past 10 years I had to learn that a 20-something is not a girl anymore if she has a baby.
I experienced the worry that creeps in you when for any reason your child is not well. I learned to pray the Lord to rather make me unwell, not him – never him. I experienced that sense of alignment with the universe when he said his first word, and it was mamma. We had that time when he went into a tantrum too many in a parking lot and pulled at my nice necklace, and all the beads rolled around me, everybody staring. Or that time when, right after being silly, he took my head into his tiny hands and rotate it to look into my eyes and pronounced sorry for the first time.
Our song, before bed. Learning to read together, day after day after day.
Me not being patient. Me not being perfect mom at all. Me feeling sometimes inadequate and alone, him feeling – I guess – misunderstood.
Him seeing me sad and looking into his jeans pocket, look mamma, I found your smile! It was here. You lost it, but I found it. Take it, mamma, put it back!
Me playing with trains and dinosaurs for the first time in my life after growing up in a family of just girls. Or him explaining to me absurdly complicated rules for superheroes card games, then monsters games. The laughter. And the tears. The laughter and the tears we have together.
The past 10 years have been the happiest adventure of my life.
Thank you, my beautiful boy.