Sunday, September 6, 2009
In a dream this morning I was visiting with a long lost cousin whom I'll call Susan. I always liked, admired, and feared Susan((feared)for her harsh judgment of me). In the dream, we sat together at a park, musing over our transformations into mothers. Aside from genetic material, I believe loving our children is all that might link us. I cautiously inquired if it felt strange to love each of our children so differently and not know specifically why. Is it gender, birth order, personality, circumstances... An unexpected sense of tenderness moved me when Susan testified that: "Children are gifts because they save us from ourselves by demanding that we change to accommodate our distinctly sacred role as Mommy. They teach us new and better ways of being. From each of them we will learn unique lessons about ourselves." I welcomed this humble and endearing confession by someone whom I otherwise suspected incapable of contemplating her own evolution. I enjoyed the intimate dialog with a family member whom in real life I will probably never actually connect. What I appreciate equally is that I have the good fortune of a husband who today got up at 5:30 to care for Baby Bert and allowed me 2.5 hours of needed rest. It was this deep deep bonus sleep that lent itself to my unlikely but agreeable reunion with Susan. The birth of our first son delivered me to motherhood. His arrival unleashed a genuine selflessness that is without bounds. I cannot think of any one quality for which I feel more proud or grateful. He has revealed the possibilities for who I get to be rather than who I have to be or will never be. This appreciation for him is one I cannot know with our younger son, because I was already a mother when #2 came around.. That imbalance makes me a little uncomfortable. So, it was nice to bare this unguarded confession with someone who,in real life would likely not affirm or share it.