Twenty three years ago today…
I became a mother and nothing has been the same ever since. I was absolutely overwhelmed with love at my first glimpse of the screaming baby boy who had already given me nine months of hell. Little did I know that was merely the beginning, both of the love and the hell. He didn’t cry; he screamed. He rarely slept and then only for short periods of time. Never long enough for me to get any real sleep. I had been so confident going into this mother-thing. I had done lots of babysitting and truly had a gift with babies. So why was my own such a challenge? Oh, yeah. I remember now.
My grandmother did a lot of babysitting and I helped her sometimes. There was one particular baby boy she babysat whom I found rather boring. He just sat in his playpen like a chubby blob and didn’t do much of anything. Throughout my pregnancy with Chris I often prayed that God would give me a smart and interesting baby. If anyone ever tells you God has no sense of humor, don’t you believe it. Chris was/is extremely intelligent and as for the interesting part, well if you know him you can answer that for yourself.
I often took him for drives or very long stroller rides trying to get him to sleep. We eventually let him sleep with us, not because of a deep-seated belief in the *family bed* concept but merely as a survival tactic. As he entered the terrible twos at about 9 or 10 months of age, I learned to pick my battles. Caring for this one tiny blond boy took most of my time and virtually all of my emotional energy. But you know what? I still loved being a mom. And I adored my beautiful little guy. David and I often made the comment “it’s a good thing he’s cute”.
Despite the fact that he was one of the most difficult babies I and most of our family had ever encountered, Chris has filled my life with joy. He still does. And yes, he is still smart and still interesting. Oh, guess what I prayed for when I was pregnant with his little sister? “Please, God. Give me a baby who sleeps!”
Happy birthday, Chris. I love you more than you will ever know…until you have a child of your own someday.