I Remember Life Before I Was A Mom
It’s been far too long since I’ve done a “Zombie Post” so I’m doing it now. I picked this one for no reason other than I liked it. No rhyme or reason, it just jumped out at me. Enjoy.
Come along for the ride as I take my first stab at the “pretty much world famous”…
Please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle. And awaaaaaaay we go!
I’m obviously choosing prompt #2, Before I was a mom…
Before I was a mom, I wanted nothing more than to be one. This could’ve had something to do with the short list of long-term relationships I was involved in. I tried to plan my family with a 7th-grade boy, and come to find out, they don’t take kindly to that sort of thing. Woops.
Before I was a mom, I thought my mom was always wrong. In retrospect, she was more than likely right. About everything. Now that I am ALWAYS right, I can see her side of things. What? I really am! Quiet, you!
Before I was a mom, I was in no way, shape or form a germ-a-phobe. I would have never thought to boil my coffee cup on the stove and didn’t consider the sani-rinse feature on a dishwasher the main purchase incentive. I don’t think I even owned hand sanitizer.
Before I was a mom, I never had to deal with anyone’s excrement aside from my own. Never even had to see it, that is unless I walked into a public restroom and chose the stall where the last occupant forgot to use their potty manners. In which case another stall was promptly chosen.
Before I was a mom, I had never experienced another human being throwing up in my mouth. Simple as that.
Before I was a mom, I had no idea just how uneducated I was in anatomy. Kids have an uncanny ability of teaching you things you didn’t know you were unaware of. On so many many levels. I’m talking about the things they don’t dare mention in health class.
Before I was a mom, I didn’t know the true meaning of the word gratification. For that matter, the same goes for love, compassion, anger, trust, fear, wisdom, need, hope, remorse, guilt, generosity, kindness, heartache, ferocity, and anti-bacterial.
Before I was a mom, I didn’t know how much mine truly meant to me.
As I soap up my hands and run the shampoo through Caitlin’s hair, I often find myself thinking back to when she was an infant. A tiny baby, no more than a few weeks old, laying peacefully on the mesh bath supporter. I can see myself, my feet inside the tub, my jeans rolled up, washing her gently. My baby girl. I can see Chris standing, leaning against the doorway, watching us both. He starts to tell me a story, a story he was told at work by a client after it was announced his baby girl had been born.
The client was an older woman with children of her own. She recalls the memory of bath time with her two-year-old daughter, gently washing her hair and rinsing the soap from her.
“You have such a beautiful body,” she tells her daughter.
”Beautiful?” her daughter replied.
”Yes, so beautiful.”
Those were the last words she said to her daughter. The last thing she heard her daughter say.
After bath time, she went outside with a sibling to play when someone (her oldest son, I believe) either drove into the driveway, or was driving out. The details are skewed in my mind, but what happened isn’t. Her daughter was killed.
At the moment Chris tells me that, my heart catches in my throat. I stop breathing. I cry. I cry for the daughter. I cry for her mother.
Because of that story, our bath times are special. No matter what is going on, they are a time of calm and comfort. They is no yelling, no fighting, no anger. Even when misbehavior occurs, it is a time of love.
As we finish bath time, I wrap her up in a warm towel, heated just for her, and dry her off. I breathe her in as I pat off her hair, back and belly. The scent of strawberry and blueberry fill my senses and I whisper to her, “You are so beautiful.”
The other day, as I patted and dried, tickled and giggled, I whispered to her. And she smiled at me, as if she knew exactly what I meant and replied, “So beautiful.”
My heart caught in my throat and I began to cry. For the daughter. For the mother. Singular teardrops fell into Caitlin’s hair as I replied, “Yes, so beautiful.”
So very beautiful.