Friday, March 21, 2014

Still Figuring out Motherhood

The morning after my first daughter was born, the nurse came in my room and checked the chart indicating her diaper changes.
"You haven't needed to change her diaper yet?" The nurse asked.
"What do you mean? Doesn't a nurse change it?" I asked back.
"No. She's your baby, you change the diaper. Then mark it here on this chart."

At that moment, I realized that having a baby was a real thing. That I really was someone's mother, responsible for her little life.  I was now responsible for making sure she ate enough and slept enough, had pajamas and clean clothes for school.  I needed to read to her every night to make sure she became literate and count all her little piggies so she'd be - what? Number-literate?  I would have to increase my vocabulary so I could tell her all that she needed to know.  I had to make sure she learned to walk and brush her teeth. I would have to teach her to look before she crossed the street and stop-drop-and-roll if she was ever in a fire.  It was my duty to teach her how to scramble eggs, make a perfect pot of rice, and grill round pancakes.  We would have to figure out how to braid or blow-dry or flat-iron and how to choose the right color lipstick.  There would be driving lessons and college applications.  But first, I had to figure out which was the front of this diaper.

At that moment, I realized that I had no clue what I was doing and became nervous that I would never really figure it out and do this thing right.  I prayed to God, don't ever leave me, don't let me raise this girl without your constant watch.

And now, fifteen years and four children later. I still feel the same way. And I pray the same thing.  And still  hope that they all turn out alright.

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