I’ve always had this feeling in the back of my mind that someone might take Issa away from me. The moment I held her in my arms I felt a genuine fear, that at any moment, someone would just walk in and say, no we made a mistake, she’s not yours to keep. I’ve heard other mothers talk about this fear, I’ve heard my own mom talk about it when she had me. I think it’s something all moms feel.
I had many dreams while I was pregnant in which, someone took my baby. The most vivid was early in my pregnancy, before we knew Issa was a girl. I dreamt we went on a vacation to Mexico, and I was drugged and when I woke I was no longer pregnant, they told me I had delivered my baby, but I had no recollection of it. They handed me a little boy. I kept telling everyone that the little boy was not my baby, that I was supposed to have a girl. In my dream an underground society got in touch with me to let me in on a secret that the Mexican government was switching out American tourist’s babies with native babies in an attempt to smuggle them into the US and they were going to help me get my little girl back. Yes, that part was crazy. My point though, that fear was there. Even before Issa was born, even before I knew she was a she.
I must also note that even though I thought for sure she was a boy, in every dream I had while I was pregnant, she was a girl. Weird.
But back to the baby theft.
Issa turned one this past Sunday and this has been mulling around in my head for the past week. Our motherly fears are real, and completely valid, the frightening thing is there is someone stealing our babies. Time is stealing them right from under our noses.
Everyone said, “soak in the baby time, it doesn’t last long.” It’s the thing people say to you when you’re pregnant with your first child. And I’ve wanted to say it to many of my new mom friends, but just like you can’t really explain how hard it really is in the first few weeks with a newborn, you can’t really explain how time just swoops right in and you blink and they’re walking and saying balloon and developing into tiny humans.
I’m concerned about the day she’s a teenager. It’s those days where she’s going to start pulling away, and being sassy, and all of that that really get me nervous. I know there will be a day she’ll slam a door in my face or yell at me to get out of her business or something all angsty and teenagery and I’m going to look at her and think, that’s the baby I held. That’s my little girl. And my heart will break a little because she won’t know. She won’t understand. You always know your parents love you, you just don’t comprehend how they love you until you have children of your own.
So mom, I’m sorry father time stole the baby version of me from you. I’m sorry for when I was angsty and teenagery and rude. I didn’t get it. Not until now. Thank you for being my mom. And thank you for loving me, I’m glad I finally get it.
But I suppose as moms we learn to let go. We learn to let go of the baby stage, to love it, to cherish it, to remember it, but to let time run it’s course. And maybe in 17 years I’ll be ready to let her go into the world. But in the mean time I’m going to enjoy every moment, every new stage, everything about watching and guiding her into the woman she will become. And then maybe one day, she’ll have a baby of her own and I’ll get to say, “see, now you get it.”