Sperm meets egg, combine, get attached to egg-maker. Thus begins the typical journey of motherhood. While the program for differentiation is written in the genetic code from father and mother, the raw materials for almost all cells comes from the mother alone. She gets to protect the baby inside her. She gets to nurture and nourish. Give the baby the spinach and the broccoli without so much as a fight from the little one.
Step 1 of letting go – giving birth. I have this insane urge to protect her from wafting smoke when I am out with her. But how? While she was inside, I would hold my breath until it passes. I realize that I have to let go. Left to me, I would create a bubble of fresh air around her. All I can do now is to pass by smokers as quickly as I can and hope that the smoke only rises up and doesn’t get to her in the stroller.
Step 2 – solid foods. As I lay in bed watching her after an early am feed yesterday, incidentally her 2 month birthday, I suddenly see her eating solid foods in 4 months. Somehow, that vision takes her all the way to college and living independently from us.
She is going to eat food on her own and digest it (or not sometimes), she’ll crawl and walk and begin her own exploration of the world, not just what we show her, learn from people other than parents/grandparents, in leaps and bounds, take a bus on her own, and on and on, go to college, and on to financial independence and living it up with her friends, creating a new family of her own. Coming back to food, she’ll also decide exactly what she eats and perhaps educate us on new schools of thought. Each step involves a letting go in some respects. Abundant joy and mini heartbreak and how many more emotions, I can’t say. I don’t know. Through it all, we hope to be her loving supporters, her number one champions, her solid emotional support. The bond deepening over time, yet letting go. I take heart in the thought that we wouldn’t have it any other way.