I remember throughout my pregnancy many a night where I laid in bed crying: not knowing what was happening, what was wrong, if Maya would make it. I would pray for things to be OK, rubbing my hands along my non-existent-yet bump, and let the big, fat, warm tears fall. It didn’t matter what Luis, my parents, or friends said … nothing could console me or my anxieties. These were fearful pregnant tears. Tears I’d like to forget.
And I remember those early newborn nights when I was still recovering from my C-section and couldn’t easily get of bed … Like all new moms, I was learning what true exhaustion means … I was frustrated with nursing and figuring out this little person and going on no sleep and new mom emotions … I could barely function, so crying became a form of therapy; release. These were blurry, hazy, new mom tears. Tears I can’t remember.
As Maya has grown up, I’ve officially become a crying fool. Any little thing can set off the waterworks: missing her when I’m at work, my first overnight away from her, when she first crawled or walked or said mama … or that one night she kept us up for three hours during a terrible teething session and I felt like I was at a breaking point. These are mama tears. Tears I will never forget.
Sometimes I can capture an amazing moment and put it into words, like I did in this post. I love having the memories written down, because though I feel like they’re seared into my memory … I know I can’t possibly remember every little moment.
Today, I had one of those incredible moments with Maya where my heart was just bursting with love. The tears just came and came. These were happy tears, triggered by her snuggled in my arms looking up at me before her nap … burrowing herself into my shoulder and breathing that sweet baby breath on my neck. It wasn’t anything crazy or out of the ordinary, but maybe that’s what made it so powerful. I just felt overwhelming love and felt needed; everyone wants to feel needed.
And the waterworks came back a second time today: at bed-time, she whispered back to me, “Te amo.” (“I love you” in Spanish). I swear, my knees went weak. I know she doesn’t know what it means yet, but the way she says it so sweetly, so adorably … just killed me.
I think these moments are so precious right now, especially, because they are so spontaneous … and because I know they won’t last forever. I know she won’t always want to snuggle with me, she won’t always look at me with awe, and I won’t always be the center of her universe.
So that’s why I’m trying to soak it all in … the good, the bad, and the ugly. All these tears are mama tears; memories. I might not be there for every moment of her day .. but there’s no one like mama.
How about you? Did you become a sap (or more of a sap) when you became a parent? Or am I flying solo in this experience?