Ten Years of Memories
Wow. The Pea's age is in the double digits now. She has lived a decade. And I've been a mother for a decade.
Ten years is a long time. It's long enough so that we remember events, but not the details.
Was it really ten years ago that I was puking and screaming and literally tearing myself apart? I remember thinking that each contraction I experienced during labor was worse than the worst menstrual cramp I had ever experienced, and even the downtime between cramps was agony because I was so tense from expecting the next one and bracing myself against the pain of the next one and exhausted from doing so..... but I can't remember the actual pain.
Was it really ten years ago that I first experienced the fear that comes with being a parent, when The Pea coughed up blood after a feeding? We laugh now about how we called the night nurse, full of panic and paranoia, but I can't remember the actual feeling. I think I feel it, when my children come down with high fevers, or they disappear from my sight for a second in a crowded place -- but that first fear was different, because it was sharpened by helplessness and lack of experience.
Was it really ten years ago that I first knew the exhaustion of getting up, multiple times each night, to feed and change her? I've become so used to hearing my kids shuffle into the bathroom, feeling them crawl into my bed, it hardly fazes me. Sometimes I'll get up to soothe a nightmare or a cough, but I haven't felt that zombie-like state of new motherhood since the boys were newborns.
I love Mother Nature for burying the bad memories while keeping the good ones alive. Even though it has been ten years, I can still remember with amazing clarity the wet, sloppy shlurrrp as The Pea finally left my body and came into the world. And I still remember exactly how it felt to greet my girl and stare at her in wonder. See, I still get that feeling every night, when I look down at her sleeping face.
Happy Birthday, Pea.