There have been a lot of things I found surprising about having a baby – some related to the practical, day-to-day realities, and others the emotional, are-you-kidding-me-with-these-tears-AGAIN feelings that overtake this proudly NON-emotional person. However, the one thing I definitely did NOT expect was this overwhelming feeling of kinship I now feel with all the other mothers that have ever existed.
Wow! Talk about an overreaching statement! So dramatic, Kristi!
But really, in the blur of the first few days (weeks?) with Sailor, I distinctly remember staring at her little bitty baby face, and thinking – “Wow. Once upon a time, I was the little baby, and MY MOM stared at my little bitty face, and I was the one demanding milk even though she was probably so very tired and had um, a not so great situation happening in the nipple area. Crazy.”
And then I would look at my husband and think, “Wow Once upon a time HE was the little bitty baby, and HIS MOM stared at his little bitty face…” and so on and so on. I thought about all my friends. I thought about my grandparents. I thought about FAMOUS HISTORICAL PEOPLE. I thought about EVERYONE and reminded myself over and over again, “That person was once a baby. And they had a mothers who had to take care of them.” It was crazy.
Every time I went anywhere with Sailor, it was seriously like other moms would seek me out – they would make eye contact, and I SWEAR on my non-mushy heart, I feel like we shared a knowing little look. Maybe I imagined it, but I really felt like they were saying “Hey! I bet you are so tired! I know EXACTLY what you are going through right now!” And a lot of times they would actually say as much. Now, I usually enjoy making small talk with strangers approximately as much as I enjoy using public restrooms (NOT AT ALL), but I welcomed all these other moms. It was like we had a club. They would comment on how tiny Sailor was, make some comment about her wild and crazy baby hair, and congratulate me for being out and about. To any other bystander, this exchange would seem so banal and trite, but the eyes were like, “No really, I remember being that tired!”
And I know, I KNOW! These are such cliched feelings, I mean how many times in my life did I hear, “Just wait until you have kids of your own, you will understand then!” IT IS THE SINGLE MOST ANNOYING THING IN THE WORLD TO HEAR GROWING UP! But what? It turns out is TRUE! I look at my mom and Blake’s mom and my sister-in-law and my best friends and all the other moms I know with this new corny respect. The feelings! They are just too much. Just imagining all these people looking at their respective babies/children with all the overwhelmingness that I feel when I look at Sailor makes me (ME!) get all these tears that just march right out of my eyes, uninvited.
So, I guess I just have 20-30 years until Sailor knows exactly what I am talking about here – just like my mom had to wait the same length of time for the same thing. But you other moms out there! You guys all know! We can just continue giving each other knowing looks – it will drive our kids crazy!