Monday, July 07, 2014

Cannon's Birthday Eve

I always get all the emotions the night before July 8, the night before I became a mama for the first time ever. I don't think I've ever been through anything more life altering than becoming a mother. Nothing, not college graduation, not marriage, not my first job, changed me so much as that final grueling push of childbirth at 9:25 am on July 8, 2010.

On July 7, 2010 I was just big, pregnant and anticipating what I envisioned would be a blissful motherhood. On July 8, 2010 I was holding a 7 lb 12 oz baby in my arms and getting lost in his dark eyes wondering what on earth I was going to do with him.

I will never be able to live through a July 4th celebration without remembering that holiday four years ago when Danny and I sat in my brother's truck bed watching fireworks, eating skittles and realizing that our baby would not be a fourth of July firecracker. Cannon wasn't due until July 13, but I thought it would be just too appropriate for him to make his entrance on July 4th.

In the weeks after Cannon's birth, in my sleep-deprived and postpartum, hormonal state, I cried into Danny's shoulder that I never wanted to forget the amazing experience and emotions of giving birth, becoming a mom and holding my newborn. Those first few weeks were so intensely beautiful. They were deeply exhausting, but life was so slow it was like time was etching each memory into my mind.

If I could go back in time I would tell that brand new mama not to worry. You don't forget. You can't forget the intensity of birth, the awe of looking into a face you've tried to envision for nine long months, the pain of sleep deprivation or the deep satisfaction of hearing your baby's sleepy breath as they snooze on your chest. Four years have passed, but I still remember each vivid moment. I cannot forget. I think I will always remember. I think every July 7th will be full of emotion and memories and tears.

Now, four years later, it's like all the emotions of Cannon's entire life are piled on top of each other. All the feelings of joy at being his mom, of pride in watching him grow, of sorrow at  the mistakes I've made, of fear in worrying that I'm failing him all the time are lumped together with all the emotions of his birth and being thrust into motherhood on the morning of July 8, 2010.

So, tonight I'll tuck him in bed one last time as a three year old. I'll go to bed, where Danny and I will whisper in the dark all of our memories of this night four years ago. And I'll cry and they will be good tears. They will be tears of thankfulness that this is my life, tears of grief that my oldest baby is growing so fast and I just can't seem to slow time enough to savor it to it's fullest, and tears that we have a whole new year to love Cannon and spend every day discovering life with him.
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