"But you, you came to break me.
Oh you, you came to save me."
I've been thinking about this all day. Today is January 19th, which was my due date five years ago. For 9 1/2 months I thought of that date and talked about it every time anyone and everyone asked the two questions they ask every pregnant lady: when are you due and what are you having? There are so many expectations you have when you're having a baby- especially your first. I mean, look how happy I was...
Well, I didn't find out what I was having, but I just knew it would be a boy. In fact, I only picked out one name, fit for a boy. Well, the baby didn't come that day and when it finally came out, it was a girl! She got the boy name anyway- it was the only one I liked. Just the beginning of expectations not being met.
These are very flattering prego pics, I assure you. I really was enormous
She's gonna be 5 in five days. The dreaded FIVE. I am not happy about it. I was supposed to be done with all this by five. We all were. So many moms get their kids into therapies around 2 (though Little Bird started at 8 months), and we're often told that by 5 we'll probably be done. That way, our kids can enter school with their peers, doing all the typical things that typical kids do. When five comes around and we aren't done, it's a knife through the heart and a reminder of the one thing we all dread: that this is forever. Well, so far I think five fucking sucks. Can you say sucks here?
I'm grieving. It's part of this whole process. I don't think you just grieve once. It's a part of the process that comes and goes. Well, it's here now. I'm grieving the loss of the expectations. The loss of the dream. That stuff comes up all the time. It happens a lot when parents of typical kids complain about total bullshit, even though it's a big deal to them; or when they talk about their kids doing the most mundane things that I'm spending thousands of dollars to teach and train my own kid to do; or even worse, when they brag about things that seem like everyday things, but that my kid might never ever be able to do. But, the other times we grieve are when the milestones come around. Like five. I'm sure I'll go through it all again when all the kids she was a baby with go to real school and she'll be repeating a grade (if she's able to go); then again when they start their dance classes, hebrew school, get bat mitzvahed, get drivers permits & licenses, take college entrance exams, etc. Should I keep going? Because I can. Trust me, I can. I'm not where I wanted to be when she turns five. That's pretty tough.
But, of course, I'm able to find some bliss in the little things. Today as we walked down the stairs to her classroom, I was impatient and frustrated that it was taking her so long. But, it occurred to me that there was a point when we weren't certain she'd ever walk; when we spent so much time, effort, and money to teach her basic movements like rolling over, crawling, standing alone, then taking steps. Now she often runs away from me and as I chase after her, I giggle as I curse the physical therapist who has worked with her since she was 8 months old. I know another mom would've just been frustrated that the kid wasn't moving quickly enough.
I am not the same person I was when I started this journey. I'm a little sadder, a little harsher, a lot more compassionate toward others. I'm a better friend, a WAY better mom than I ever expected to be, and a much better person. So, she's changed my perspective on life, love, and what those two things really are. I'm pretty fucking awesome. It's true. But the real truth is that it's all because of her. She came to save me.