Pushing

The countdown has begun: C will be three in only about two and a half weeks.

Sometimes I look through the archives of my blog to revisit all the things we’ve been through together.

I remember when I saw her shimmy-shake across the screen for the very first time.

I remember seeing her heel slide across my torso while I lied in bed watching Netflix, and I remember feeling her less-than-gentle third trimester kicks.

I remember *finally* meeting her.

I remember seeing her roll and smile. Then she pulled up. Before we could blink, she was walking.

I remember when she learned to say no. My hair has turned 700 shades of gray since then.

I remember when she danced to the ting-ting sound of B stirring his coffee with a spoon.

I remember when she learned what it was to hurt.

There are so many things to remember, and sometimes it makes me sad that I don’t have the time to write them all down. All these things are her history. She will always be my baby, always learning and accomplishing new milestones. She’s making her way in the world.

Why do I like to lavish in the memories of my girl? There are as many answers to that question as there are things about her that intrigue me. I reflect because she’s beautiful, because she’s experiencing the world with fresh eyes, because I see myself in her, because I don’t see myself in her, because she’s imperfect and aggravating and gorgeous and good.

But I think that pain has something to do with it, too.

Much has been said about the co-mingled highs and lows of motherhood. This ride is the most beautiful thing you’re ever going to experience, but it’s also the most excruciating. It all starts when you give birth. (Well, if we’re being honest it starts way before then, but for the sake of my upcoming metaphor, let’s just pretend it starts with labor.) There’s the literal pain of having a human exit your own body, but then there’s the emotional. What was once one is now two. You’re giving up control, you’re cutting the cord. You will never, ever be united with your child the way you were when you were carrying her. Giving birth is downright brutal.

But here’s the thing: we give birth again and again and again when we see our kids grow.

Push.

Your baby’s on solids.

Push.

She starts to walk.

Push.

She figures out what makes you angry and then deliberately performs that very action.

Push.

She goes to school.

Push.

She moves out.

There’s a part of me that goes back to these memories because they hurt. It’s the same thing that drives me to talk about losing my dad, to watch the same movies repeatedly with the complete knowledge that they’ll make me cry, and to sprint the last lap even though I feel like my legs are on fire and that I may die. We remember because we want to feel. At least I do.

Cee went to school for the first time yesterday. She didn’t cry when I dropped her off, but once I was back in the safe confines of my car, I did. I cried the sad-happy cry of a mother who remembers when her baby was nothing more than an extra pink line on a home pregnancy test, and now she’s singing songs at circle time.

Push.

school daze

 

 

26 comments

  1. This is beautiful and hurt my heart and made me teary (I don’t even have a baby). But I guess imagining how my own Mum must feel, after I moved out to the other side of the world and stuff… Even if Cee acts all kind of cool for school, she’ll miss you gazillions every day! X

    1. Awww, thank you. You are a really, really awesome daughter if you can empathize with your mom like that. I have a kid myself and I often struggle with putting myself in my mom’s shoes.

  2. On the bright side, 3 was my very favorite age for my son to be until this one, 8 surpassed it. You’re looking at 5 years of awesome ahead of you and it just gets better from there. Embrace the change. Delight in her progress. Cee is such spectacularly cool little lady!

    1. Thank you, Hollie! To be honest, three is kind of hard so far. She’s sowing some serious oats, and I’m just praying that I have the cajones to handle it. But I’m holding out faith. Thanks :D

  3. I’m not crying. *You’re* crying.

    Sniff.

    Beautiful post, lady. I’m so happy I know you, and know Cee through you. I’m loving watching her grow up, and seeing your joy and delight through her.

    Much love to all of you. Hope Cee had the best first day of school ever!

    1. Thank you, lady! I’m so glad you know us too. One of these days we are all going to get together and the universe is going to ASPLODE!

  4. And every single push hurts the same..a bitter sweet pain…Lovely! Nothing like motherhood! totally worth it!

    1. Amen to that. I don’t think it would be worth it if it didn’t hurt.

  5. Three already. Parenthood is a skateboard. You step on it, and their whole lives fly right by. And you’d better be wearing a helmet.

    1. And kneepads. And shin guards. And a bulletproof vest. Heck, let’s just spring for the full body armor.

      1. And bubble wrap for our hearts. It’s a bumpy ride.

        1. I like this analogy a lot. Or is it a metaphor? Or a simile? Whatevs, it resonates.

  6. Beautiful❤️ understand these feelings all to well. They grow so fast.

  7. Today was a particularly co-mingled day for me and this hit the spot. I love the clarity of your vision and ability to define the feels and undefinable. :-) This was beautiful. And congratulations, mama! xoxo

    1. Thank you, friend. I so often struggle with finding the right words. Most of the time, they find me. I’m glad you liked this post. I really do, too. (Am I allowed to admit that?)

  8. She is so absolutely adorable, Em.

    It’s bittersweet to watch children grow. On one hand you’re proud of how much they’ve grown and who they’ve become, but on the other you’re sad because you miss the younger person they used to be. It’s a funky roller coaster to be on.

    1. It really is. Just now I was on the computer I rarely use, and I found a bunch of old pictures of her from when she was only about nine months old. It made my heart fill with joy to see them, but it made me feel so sad too.

  9. Reading this now is serendipitous…because G turns 10. She is officially on the downhill side of her years living with me. I don’t want to push now…because it only means she’ll go faster on this side of the journey. Now I am going to go cry myself to sleep.

    P.S. I love when you write beautiful things.

  10. I really don’t remember a lot of the small events from my kids’ childhoods. I know they should be burned into my corneas and stamped on my heart and all that, but memories get lost in our giant, overstuffed mental file cabinets over time. The really wonderful thing is that you will remember because you’re writing all these things down here. Your great writing will make the memories all the more vivid and poignant.

  11. Beautiful, Emily; simply beautiful. You’ve stitched together that early and later, and why we return to it, over and over, so wonderfully. We had similar things in mind this week. My HP piece is right in line with this achingly complex dance we do as moms… wonderful writing!

  12. […] friend Emily of The Waiting recently wrote an achingly beautiful post about how we mothers are continuously pushing, in the sense that we give birth to our children over […]

  13. So perfect. Loved this. I often feel more pain from motherhood than anything. And, I hope for the love, that it’s helping me grow. Actually, I know it is. Through each new stage I think we give birth to a new self too. Great post!

  14. And that is why they say they will always be your babies, I guess. Man did you hit that nail on the head. Good work.. Somehow I always manage to catch my thumb… :-)

  15. Motherhood is indeed an emotional roller coaster ride. Some memories are elating and wonderful, and others make you want to cry or vomit. But no matter what, you will always look back and smile. Great time line!

  16. […] friend Emily of The Waiting recently wrote an achingly beautiful post about how we mothers are continuously pushing, in the sense that we give birth to our children over […]

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