Monday, April 11, 2022

The Next Rite of Passage

At 1:57 AM MDT in the company of care providers now known as The Birthday Party, my first grandson, River James, came into the world. He was 7 lbs 4.1 oz and 20 3/4" long. He has blonde hair and blue eyes and is the most beautiful and precious thing in the world.

A thing many of the current people in my life may not know is that I wasn't planning on having children when I was a young adult. I had big career goals, and I didn't want to have kids and then never be home for them. I like to commit fully to anything I do, and if I was going to be a mom, I wanted to be the mom those kids deserved, not send them off to daycare while I pursued my dreams. 

When I got pregnant with my eldest son, all of that was seemingly disappearing for me. I made the choice to be a mom, and that was where my primary efforts were going to be spent. I was 21 when he was born, and we had loads of good and difficult times as our family grew and changed together. I dropped out of school, mostly due to money issues, and went back to earn my associate's degree later, which has ironically led me to accomplish big career goals. My second child, Devin, was planned, and as seemingly par for the course, has been the most spirited of my progeny. She/They is turning into a beautiful mom already, and I am so proud of them. My youngest, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and crushing it in high school, is looking forward to meeting his nephew when they come home from the hospital today.

My Devin now lives across the street from us, deciding that they needed their mom during this pivotal time in life, and I cannot express the amount of joy that fills me when I reflect on these words and their meaning. I was enough, despite my flaws and mistakes, for them to want me to help them evolve as a mom. I did not often feel like enough, like I was definitely going to be the subject of many conversations with therapists (as most moms likely are), and hearing these words has been a balm on the guilt I feel for every one of my actions that may have caused harm to my precious children. 

I was invited to the birth, and I even got to cut the umbilical cord. Laboring with a soon-to-be new mom is a humbling experience, and I will treasure these memories for the rest of my days. There were no complications, and Devin was amazing. I am in awe of their strength and perseverance and their continued capacity to love. 

As I sit here with the whirlwind of labor, delivery, and antepartum fading into a sweet breeze of what is yet to come, I feel the liminality washing over me, reminding me that I am no longer who I was alone but am now becoming something and someone more. I stand beside those who have gone before me, who have survived to see their children bear children, and I hold my head with pride and purpose, with humility and attentiveness to their wisdom, as I do the work of Becoming these new experiences have afforded me. I am truly grateful for what I have already been given and the beautiful and wonderful things I see shimmering already on the horizon. Blessings abound.