Occasionally here at ON THE WRIGHT PATH I will write an article chronicling a lesson I have learned or am in the process of learning as a mother and wife. This is the first in the series.
My heart lives outside of me. A strange sentiment, yes? It is true. I learned that lesson this week in all its joy and heartbreak. See, my heart is the Little Wright. She is literally and figuratively my miracle and dream come true.
I will never forget that day ten years ago as I lay on the table at my gynecologist’s office during an exam and the doctor told me in gloomy terms that due to my myriad of health issues that conceiving a baby, let alone carrying the baby to full term would be next to impossible. I was, at the time, a newlywed, excitedly trying to plan my first pregnancy when the doctor delivered the devastating news. I remember driving home crying and cursing my body and all it could not do. Eventually I gave up on the idea of having a baby. Mr. Wright had two girls from his previous marriage and I just resigned myself to being a step-mother. For quite some time this was fine with myself and Mr. Wright.
Then about six years ago, I was physically assaulted, beaten and terrorized one night in my own home. It changed everything in my life and everything about me. But after some time spent in healing one thing became very clear to my mind and my heart . I knew I wanted a family of my own. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Mr. Wright’s girls, but by this time the oldest was just about done high school and his other daughter was living with her grandmother five hours away. I had a deep-seeded need to be a mother. Literally the biological clock was ticking and ticking at a furious pace (Think Marissa Tomei’s iconic scene in My Cousin Vinny https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh0210A-VZo)
And so I did the only thing I knew I could do. I prayed. I prayed and prayed and prayed. Everyday. Begging God to let me have baby. Not just to let me have a baby, but to let me have a healthy, happy baby. And He did. God provided me with a miracle so big and so precious I was completely in awe. I was in awe of His great love and power but I was also in awe of this teeny, tiny baby that I had been blessed with. I remember just holding her and staring at her little gnome elf face for hours, thinking how miraculous this baby was.
It wasn’t all angels singing and harps playing believe me! Haha! Little Wright was a pistol from the get go and there were many, many days I cried right along with her as I tried to navigate motherhood. At the time so many people said “It will go by so fast. She will be in school before you know it.” and I laughed at them and probably cursed them too, because when you are in the midst of poopy diapers and 2 a.m feedings and constant crying for no reason well time does not fly. Time crawls to a stop and you are perpetually exhausted and perpetually unshowered.
But then something happened. One day she was in a stroller and then the next day she was walking. One day she was babbling in baby speak, the next day she was talking a mile a minute. One day she was in diapers and the next day she was wearing big girl panties.
One day she was home all day, the next day she was being dropped off to PREK. Oh how my heart broke this week. I watched her run into school on the first day and she didn’t even look back. I was so proud yet so sad. Because that Little Wright is my heart. She is my heart living on the outside of my body. And I am sobbing on the inside because she is no longer a baby anymore.
She is a big girl and she will go to school, she will make friends, she will fall down and get hurt, and she will continue to grow and learn. She is not my little baby anymore. But what hurts most is knowing that I need to let go and let her explore the world even if it means she gets hurt. Even if it means other children may be mean to her. And that is a very hard pill to swallow my friends.
I do not know how to process these feelings yet. To watch her grow into this big girl who is now 5 years old and see how smart and creative and wonderful she is makes me swell with pride for who she growing into. Then there is that little part of me that knows there will be times when others try to bring her down or hurt her and I can’t stop them. It breaks my heart twice. Once for the pain I know she will inevitably face in this world and twice for the pain it will cause my own heart to see my only child hurt. That is the struggle of being a parent I believe. We nurture and cuddle these little beings and we love them so deeply that their hurts ARE our hurts as well. I must learn to balance that in my mind and in my soul to be the best parent I can be to my little girl.
However, the lesson I did learn this week was if my baby is ready to spread her wings, then I had better be prepared to let her soar.
My little heart is soaring high and I could not be happier.
Till next time!