September 5, 2012

I get to be his mom.

CHEESE ALERT: This is a really mushy post. Proceed with caution.

I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I always knew I would love my baby.

What I didn't know is that I'd like him this much.

One day I may look back on this still-new mom post and laugh at myself, and that's okay. (Laugh away, older self.)

One day when he's old enough to read (and old enough to appreciate my characteristic mushiness), he may look back at this still-new mom post and laugh at me too, and that's also okay. (Laugh away, older Bryson, and don't you have some homework you should be doing?!)

Even in the face of imaginary future ridicule, today I want to record some of the things that make me so thankful to be the one Bryson calls (albeit by accident at this stage) Mama.

1. He's cute. Really cute.


I don't mean to sound obnoxious, and I realize (hope) every mom thinks her baby is cute. But mine really is. Really cute. {Liiiike I talk to him through gritted teeth a lot because I just want to squeeze him but can't aaaand smooch his cheeks at a rate of at least five per second.}

I say this as humbly as I possibly can, because I sincerely don't feel responsible for his miniature handsomeness in any way. One day I will feel responsible for the more meaningful things, like his manners and behavior (a direct result of my attempts at good parenting), but for his looks, what did I do?

I grew up hearing about how beautiful my mom and three older sisters were. My response? "Thanks; I had nothing to do with it!" While sweet and appreciated, it was kind of a weird compliment that didn't have anything to do with me.

I used to think when I had my own children I would feel a bit more responsible, like I did have something to do with it. Well I don't. I'm keenly aware that the miracle of life is waaaay beyond my doing, and his ingredients are from God's design, not mine.

While his looks are certainly not his most important attribute, he's kind of a baby stud muffin. I know there's an expression "a face only a mother could love"....but his little mug brings smiles to many more faces than mine alone. Fact.

His smile changes with every new tooth, and it always melts my heart. For infinitely more reasons than just his objective cute factor, walking in to his room and seeing his face light up after a nice (or not-so-nice) nap is like walking downstairs on Christmas morning. The. sweetest.

2. He's very easy to get along with.


Who knew that a ten-month-old fella could be funny, sensitive, sweet, and so inquisitive?

Most people who haven't been around babies may assume that (for lack of a better word), they're human-shaped blobs, just watching and going with the flow. Sure, we had a phase like that, but we are now in full-on little person mode.

He's got a Texas-sized personality and keeps us entertained. He loves to laugh and is a total thrill seeker. When it comes to his daddy throwing him up in the air, the higher, the better. Dip him backwards and upside down? Sounds great!

From even his earliest days, he's just used his cries to tell us something - he's hungry, sleepy, cold, or uncomfortable. Otherwise, he's one of the most laid back guys I've ever met.

He's an inquisitive observer who loves to watch people and let his eyebrows do the talking. He can be smack dab in the middle of a bustling room of 20+ family members, and he's content just hanging out and playing with some toys (ideally holding some with his feet so he can keep his hands free for other options).

He's pretty patient with us, too! In the early days (and still now), we'd take him out to run errands or go do something fun and just wait for the other shoe to drop. Surely he's going to get mad here shortly and we'll have to leave.

Nine times out of 9.5, he'd wait to have his meltdown until we got home. How very considerate of him! Did I mention he didn't even give me real morning sickness? He was even considerate in the womb.

Who knows what the toddler years will bring (well, I have a pretty good idea....) but for his first ten months of life, strangers and loved ones alike have continually remarked about what a great, calm, happy disposition our little man has, and I don't think it's a coincidence.

Thanks to a recommendation by my dear friend Liz, I read a book titled Praying through Your Pregnancy while B was in the figurative oven. The book includes a chapter for each week, including an anecdote from the author, developmental milestones, a few bible verses, and a prayer for baby that week.

While I'd be too sleepy (read: lazy) to read it some nights, a line from one particular prayer always stuck out to me: "I pray that my child will have a happy heart and a joyful spirit." I'd say my prayers were answered quite literally in this case.

When we get to "terrible twos" and the teen years, well, I'll let you know.

3. He's a cool guy.


I'd want to be his friend, but even better, I get to be his mom.

I get to be his mom.

I got to be the one who he first snuggled with (okay really that was Jeremy because I was still in the OR...). I got to be his sole source of nourishment for the first (almost) six months of his life. I got to be the one whose voice he recognized first. I get to nurse him and put him down for bed each night.

(In addition to his loving daddy,) I get to be the one he reaches for/crawls to when he  needs a shoulder to cry on (and man...he's even cute when he cries!). I get to be the one he clings to when he just doesn't feel sure.

When he wins the Super Bowl, the presidential election, or Wheel of Fortune 20-30 years from now and says "HI MOM!" to the camera, I get to be the one he's talking to. I get to be his one and only mom.

I can't remember exactly when or where I realized this important lesson, but it kind of relates back to #1: He is my son, but I didn't create him. He is not mine (as much as I secretly and only half-jokingly wish he'd live with us forever).

He's a child of God that I have been entrusted  with, and along with my husband, it's my awesome responsibility to do what I can to raise him to be a kind, funny, responsible, smart, hard-working, honest, God-loving, contributing member of society.  

NO PRESSURE.

While he may not be mine in the heavenly sense, he's mine in the worldly sense, and in terms of raw materials, I won the jackpot. Bryson is my perfect tiny match. My little dream guy. Raising him (and any future brothers or sisters) is and will be the great honor and privilege of my life.

I pray I'm up to the challenge.

I know. I told you this was gonna be cheesy.

Our life isn't perfect, and I don't need it to be. Some days I don't get out of my pajamas. Some days, despite my best efforts at playtime, I just need to watch some grown up TV while he's awake and in the room (you have no idea how much it pains me to admit that...I'm one of those).

Some days he just cannot sit still for a diaper change, and Baby Mozart buys me the 90 seconds of stillness that I need. Some days he uses my shoulder/arm/knee/mommy parts as a teething ring.

Some days I'm overwhelmed at all the things I *could* be doing to be a better mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and colleague, and I really want to do is take a nap!

We have to have some dull, upsetting, and/or frustrating days in order to appreciate the really great ones. (You can't have a rainbow without the rain, right?) I embrace that.

The truth is, even on our "worst" days, we are blessed beyond what we could think to ask for. We're happy, healthy, and living in one of the most beautiful states in the US of A. In addition to all that, we've got some really great people in our lives who bring us so much joy.

One of those great people just happens to be about two feet, five inches tall, and he sleeps right down the hall.


I get to be his mom.


P.S.  This post is not related to my business, which is about helping bright entrepreneurs attract their dream clients, one brilliant message at a time. HOWEV - if you like my writing and want help with your own, sign up for free tips at www.nikkielledgebrown.com!

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