I was never really been good with kids before I had my own. I was the babysitter who ignored all the phone calls, because I didn’t want to watch the neighborhood kids. When I held babies, they cried. And I can be a little too practical and not-so-imaginative when it comes to playing kids’ games. If babies started sitting down and having deep conversations over cups of coffee, then I may have been more interested.
If anyone told me they thought I would be a great mother when I was younger, I am pretty sure they lied. My parents were in partial agreement. It wasn’t that they thought I would be a bad mother— it was just that I was not that maternal.
And then, one day that changed.
I was married the summer before my senior year of college. Upon graduation, despite my deep desire to become a mother, we decided to wait for five years, until I was a ways into my career. And yet, as fate would have it, a couple weeks later, on my second day of my first post-grad job, after weeks of nausea and exhaustion, I bought a test and silently, nervously waited and watched… Only to see that with all my recent planning, there were bigger plans to be had.
I was pregnant.
The realization that there was a tiny, fragile, beautiful little life growing inside me hadn’t entirely hit me at that point. In the beginning, the excitement intermingled with stress and sickness, and I couldn’t entirely tell which way was up. But the love and the joy was quickly building in ways that I had never imagined before. The moment that it all became real to me was after learning that he— the little life growing inside of me— was a baby boy. He was my little Lincoln.
It all sunk in.
The bond that a mother has with her child— the deep, heart warming, tears welling, could-hold-you-in-my-arms-forever bond that I saw in my mom with us— I got it.
And the day that Lincoln was born and took his first breath, squinty-eyed, all purple and ripe— it hit me like a train as I wept at how beautiful he was. How proud I was of him. How deeply I loved this tiny, fragile life. And as I held him close and whispered to him with the voice he had already heard 1000 times, he only snuggled in closer.
This little life captured my heart and completely changed me. It’s like he unlocked a part of me that I didn’t know I had. A part of me that made me more whole with more love than I ever knew I could give.
And as he ages into a less peaceful, more rambunctious, more adventurous and sweeter version of his baby self, that love only grows. As he gives me year after year of sleepless nights, mischief, and sweet kisses, my heart knows him and loves him more than the day we met.
I am the one that comforts him, the one that loves him, the one that knows him and he knows back. I am his safe zone.
And he is my joy, my little love. He is my game changer.