This post started out being about a birthday, migrated into a post about instincts, and ended up being a post about a truck. Ha.
When we make these little teeny human beings, they have this crazy powerful ability to look directly into our souls and implant us with this amazing ability to love so much more than anyone should ever be allowed to love in the history of ever and ever. Because when you love something with your entire being, it’s inevitable that your heart, without warning, will be broken into a million little pieces a million times over.
The moments that make my heart break keep sneaking up on me and knocking me over without warning – it’s like checking your speed and then looking up from the dash and in a split second you see the blinding white of headlights on a semi just inches away from your face and you have no time to even realize what just happened until you find yourself on the side of the road sobbing.
The first time I had my mama heart-broken, Summer was a week old, curled up in a little ball on the boppy pillow that I had wrapped around my doughy new-mama middle. And I looked at her…I mean really looked at her….and before I knew it I got hit by the truck. She was perfect. She was so tiny and vulnerable and so helpless but just so very content to be exactly where she was in my arms all swaddled up safe.
And I cried like I’ve never cried before in my life. I wanted that very moment to freeze in time, I told her to never ever get bigger, to stay exactly as she was because eventually someday she won’t need me anymore, someday she will look me in the eye and tell me she hates me, someday she will fall in love with someone who doesn’t deserve her sweet little heart and they will be careless and shatter its preciousness under their feet and she’ll be devastated, and she will someday somewhere for some awful reason feel embarrassed about herself or self-conscious or bullied or alone and it made me hurt so badly for her and my own heart broke.
And then I wrote this post with tears streaming like a faucet down my face and it is still my most favorite thing I’ve ever written and still makes me cry every time I read it.
Truck-Jaime. Jaime-Truck. So very nice to meet you.
And over the past year this stupid truck, it just kept sneaking up behind me, ramming into me over and over. When I was a week away from going back to work, bam! It hit me and my heart broke as I looked at her and cried about the fact that I was soon about to find myself sitting in front of a computer surrounded by 35 grown men who needed me to make their stupid coffee and fix their stupid broken computers so we could all make our stupid money instead of being where I longed to be, singing the itsy bitsy spider in her ear while she slept on my legs and me never getting enough of that sweet little giggle while I tickled her armpits and gave her bubble baths in the kitchen sink while watching her float carefree in the warm water while I kissed her wet toes.
And then I came home from my first day back and I decided that the smile I got when I walked through that door would get me through the hardest part of being away. But that stupid truck still hits me every morning when I have to walk out that door and say goodbye.
When she got her first cold and struggled to figure out how to breathe through a clogged nose while trying to eat, bam! My heart broke because all I wanted to do was make it better yet all I could do was snuggle her until her little body figured out how to heal itself.
And it did. And we both survived. And that damn truck has shown up a few more times with the sniffles and the fevers and the malaise of sickness and I know at any given moment it can rear its ugly bumper and knock us off our feet again. And it will. And we’ll keep on getting back up and dusting ourselves off and carrying on.
When she was trying to stand up by herself for maybe the 3rd time ever and just outside of my grasp, I watched in slow motion as she fell face forward into the tv table in front of her, and bam! I felt it, the pain, in my heart when her little cheek was throbbing and bruising right before my eyes.
And then we got a new table without corners and the bruise healed and slowly, so did my heart.
Take that, truck. And when she choked? Don’t even get me started. My heart is still recovering from that crash.
Whenever she’s hurt and she sucks in that slow deep breath before letting out a big sad cry and choking on the tears that pool in her throat, I feel it, too, but the pain of watching her hurting is more like an ache in my chest while my heart is breaking because I don’t ever want her to be sad or hurt. It’s an ache that instantly puts me into mama bear protective mode overdrive and the whole world disappears except for me and her. This new mama heart of mine, I’m learning it can take quite a beating.
And when the nurses at the doctor’s office yesterday made me pin my baby’s arms down while they pinched her skin with a rubber tourniquet and pierced her little vein and then poked her squishy little thighs with needles, it killed me. I have no words for how hard it was to hold my baby down while other people hurt her, and before they even had a chance to say, “ok, we’re finished…”, I had already scooped her up off the cold vinyl of the exam bed and was shushing in her ear as she buried her hiccupping little face into my shoulder and cried. And I actually found myself crying, too because they had hurt her and it hurt me to see her so sad and confused and in pain and it so totally screwed with my mind to know that even though the purpose was for good, I made it happen, I helped it happen, I helped someone hurt her. And by the time we got in the car, she was singing and laughing and here I sit a full day later still nauseous just thinking about the look on her face just inches away from mine as I kissed her forehead over and over while the tears ran down the sides of her face. But I know that this too shall pass and the truck will disappear for a little while and I will mend my broken mama heart and move on, and we’ll be back again in 3 months and another 3 months after that to get hit by the truck. Again.
Though I do believe we need to start building trucks their own highways, far far away from me.
Up until last week, every time I thought about her fast approaching birthday, I pictured a big fabulous celebration that I’d prepare for all week with lots of surprises planned, balloons, smashed cake and presents galore. And my biggest surprise aside from learning that there is currently a nationwide helium shortage so the dozen balloons I wanted to get were a no go (seriously, did anyone know about this?), was that I got hit by the effing truck again and found myself so so sad. My baby wasn’t going to be zero years old anymore. I tried to kiss all the baby I could get out of her before she was no longer considered a baby. All of my “Your Baby This Week” emails turned into “Your Toddler….” I looked at pictures on my mom’s phone of the day she was born and I can’t even reconcile that she is the same person. So I cried because my heart hurt. I got teary every time I thought about the fact that she was turning 1. I got hit by the gigantic heartbreak truck because my baby didn’t listen the first time I got hit when I begged her to stay the same. But you know what? We had a celebration and she was happy. So I kicked the truck and put a big old dent in its fender and for my big girl on her big day, I was happy, too. There were presents.
Lots and lots of presents.
There were bubbles. Lots and lots of bubbles.
And there was cake.