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Your Views: Life seen through a mother’s eyes

POSTED: May 8, 2014 1:00 a.m.

I spent nine long months sharing a body with you. I endured morning sickness, fatigue and stretch marks. Like a parasite, your developing body took everything it needed from my own body. It took nutrients from the food and liquids I ingested, and even the calcium from my bones. I became more aware of what I put into my own body because I knew that ultimately it would end up in yours.

I was the first person to hear your heartbeat, and I was the first person to feel you move. Those were my ribs you insisted on dangling from. Those were my lungs you kept from fully inflating at times. That was my bladder you tap-danced on. And I was the one you kept awake at night while you practiced your Olympic gymnastic floor routine.

I was the one who worried, and pushed at you trying to get some movement out of you when you decided you were comfortable and stopped moving for two days. I was the one who felt the overwhelming relief when you did finally decide to move again.

I was the one who felt the intense pain and exhaustion of labor and delivery. I was the one who cried with you when you took your first breath. I nursed you and bathed you. I changed your diapers, even the really nasty ones. I walked the floor with you at 2 a.m. to help you go back to sleep. I sat in a steam-filled bathroom to try and help ease your croup. I found things for you to teethe on. I cried with you when you were given your vaccinations.

I ate cold meals after making sure you’d had a hot one. I gave up meals when I only had enough to feed one person; I gave that food to you. I went to another room and cried my eyes out the first time I had to spank you. And when your crush turned you down, it was my heart that was broken right along with yours.

I celebrated your successes as if they were my own, and agonized over your defeats right along with you. I tried to share the results of my own experiences in life to try and save you the aggravation and heartache I had endured in my own life.

I cherished each little picture and gift you made for me as if they were the works of great masters. And when you started driving, I prayed each night for you to come home to me safely.

And now you’re old enough to make your own decisions and have a life without me, but how do I stop loving and worrying about you now? I’ve been doing it for so long that it comes as naturally to me as breathing does. So as I learn to let you go, be patient with me and remember, we have so much more in common than just a name.

Stacey Flowers
Gainesville


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