The day you were born I made you a promise. I vowed to be your protector, your role model, your teacher, and your haven. As a young mom I wasn’t sure how to be all those things or even if I’d even be very good at them, but I swore when I first held you that I’d try my best.
But I was scared. So very scared.
I had reasons to be afraid. At 11 days old you were rushed off to emergency surgery. I cried for weeks in the Pediatric ICU as you were wheeled from one test to another in a sterile metal crib. The serious faces of doctors and specialists told me much without saying a word. It was these unspoken conversations, frightful images of you hooked up to tubes and machines, and countless silent prayers that introduced me to motherhood.
Even though we celebrated your second homecoming, the medical scares continued. Every fever, every episode, every anomaly fueled my limitless fears. I didn’t know what was normal — or what was normal for you. I didn’t know when — or if — I was allowed to relax when it came to your care. I wanted so much to enjoy you, but ceaseless fear stood in my way. [read more…]