In my journey, I don't know much. But I think I know enough.
What I don't know is…
What it feels like to have a child. For the first time in my life, I accepted the fact that a baby was coming, and my life would no longer be my own. We bought books, and laughed at our inabilities and ignorance. I threw up in a toilet, knowing that every pain I was enduring was making our baby stronger. My husband had his first belly-holding smile, knowing there was us, inside. We saw ultrasounds that made our education feel inferior and inept; what we saw was a glimpse of life we were unable to interpret. We worried about money and daycare. We thought of names, and painstakingly rearranged summer plans of boozing on the beach to painting the baby's room and taking prenatal vitamins on time.
We then felt the pain of accepting that the baby inside of me was not strong enough to become who we wanted it to be; and that no matter how hard we tried, it would not take 9 months to create a life. It would instead take 3 months to prove that this young life was not meant to be. It's hard to accept that our little creation couldn't find it's heart, but if you look back-there is no other way to truly want a child, and prove how badly you will commit to it's happiness, unless you lose that hope. Those feelings never go away, they only become stronger, which means our love and preparedness will only grow. The next one? That's one lucky kid. We are waiting for you and can't even imagine how much you will be loved.
What it feels like to be content. I have always been on the path of the next big venture; gotta be the best, the smartest, the most well-spoken. Living with the pressure of "gotta be" is not only painful, it's counter-productive, yet I only brought it upon myself, weighing heavily upon my own shoulders. You miss out on the little moments that add up. Turns out, I'm thirty, and still waiting for the payback. Meanwhile, I look back at all the times I wish I'd cherished then, rather than had to relay in memories. I was always in a rush; a race to get my education, to get the guy, the perfect job, the ideal house. I ran so fast that I forgot to remember that the brain processes change much faster than the heart. When running a marathon, you only gage your thoughts on the next checkpoint. Gotta make it, in time, I can do it, just focus. But at the end, you only look back at your accomplishment, forgetting the struggles you had to reach it. You look back at the mileage and only see the total; not the stopping, grasping points. You actually forget the pain and only remember the gloating semblance of accomplishment the finish line feeds you. It's as if you simply overlook the journey and accept the ending; but your strength was built upon the pain and struggle. The brain is smart-it wants us to remember the aftermath so we will continue to tread along the rocky path. But the heart and soul, that depth only focuses on what defines our character, with not even a glimpse at the ending point. It remembers the choking and exhausting minutes that defined our journey. It awards our faltering seconds, our grappling, but it blinds us with victory, so we will continue to strive.
What I know is….
I have a family that many people dream of. I have a Mother that lives her life, takes her every breath, upon my happiness. This is something that I took for granted, unknowingly, for some time. As much as I pray to be a good mother, there is a part of me that realizes I will fail. I have the greatest Mother of all times. I have the Mother that gave me wax wings, beautifully crafted and strong in our own world, made so that I never flew too close to the sun. Yet if I did, I will follow the path Icarus swept and as not intended, she will be there to catch me. I have the Mother that comes to a hospital and holds my hand, grips it tight, but says that she must leave so that my Husband can take the leading role in my survival. I have a Brother that cannot sleep, no matter the time difference, until my Husband writes, "she's okay, asleep, will call you in the morning". I have a family, that no matter how tough of an image that we portray, literally cannot function unless everyone else is aware. And we fight it; not picking up phone calls or not returning a text message…and as silly as it seems to say aloud, we are not whole until we feel confident that all of us are accounted for. We will forever be bound as our lives are closely knitted to those that we love, no matter the mileage or change that occurs. And guess what? It is these times that make a family, strong with a glance, or a quick and momentary conversation, as thick as thieves. And we feel no remorse nor regret. We are what we have created, and we would take nothing less. I strive to be the like the Mother I was given.
I have a husband who loves me. Not the kind of love where he would stand on a street corner and croon-but the kind of love where we have a great life… the kind of love where you are sitting in a doctor's office and given the worst sort of news…and your husband looks at you…not for confirmation but for direction. Anger, in fact, that the news was delivered to us together, whereas he would have preferred to accept and interpret news without my knowledge and pain. I have the Husband who wants to take the bad news away from me, to digest it and make it as palpable as possible, before it hit my ears. How I got him, I have no idea. But I have him, without intention of letting him go. And, to make matters even moreso entwined, my Mother trusts him. She trusts him, to make me feel whole. That is a feeling that is not easily transferred, but earned. Not only earned, but expected. If my Mother is giving duties, they are dealt out based upon expectation and hope. Her love is transferred to my Husband, and he accepts it without hesitation. But I believe, in my heart, that a glance existed sometime, and was accepted by both parties. My heart has been transferred, without knowledge but with full-fledged intent, to the only Man whom my Mother deemed deserving.
Life is not what you planned. Or hoped for. Or wished that would occur on it's own, entrusting morals prevail. Life is what happened when we were living each minut day, and praying. Life is who we are, when we least expected to be watched. Life is what happened when we heard someone else's version, and we added our two cents, comparing and laughing. Life is not a culmination of who we dreamt to be, but who grew to become. Without regret, or comparison to the norm and obvious. We are who we believe we are today. And in my family, we are unconditionally loved.
That's what I know. For now.