by Kelly Salasin
(from my journal, September 1995)
“An angel sleeps upon my breast and dreams in my arms.”
My first thought when they showed me your face was, “He looks familiar,” and I knew you were mine.
I’m finally holding the hand of my child, touching his feet, watching his eyes discover the world, his fingers discover my breast!
People say to sleep while you sleep, but I can’t stop looking at you. With all of your dreams crossing your face–in squeaks and smiles and frowns, I’m afraid I’ll miss something.
We are lovers, spending every hour together–sleeping, eating, showering, smiling, crying–inseparable. We are everything to the other.
Sometimes I’d give anything to step back in time to the moment where you are placed into my arms–and stay there with you forever–like lovers who jump into the fires of hell rather than be separated.
I have always felt our separation. Loving you is filled with the pain and joy of it. Motherhood must be a series of goodbyes, each one letting go to another piece of our togetherness.
If I love you too much, will I ever be able to say goodbye?
How is it that we are lovers, but only for such a short time? (a metaphor for all human relationships and time.) Motherhood is such a sacrifice and such a lesson in life–full of its deepest joys and greatest losses, reminding us that living is a blessing. What a gift you are!
I pray that you will always know my love and I yours, that our life together will not be filled with regret.
But I guess parenthood will be another lesson in love–realizing that although we have been bound in the most holy of ways–through flesh and blood and milk from my breast–we will some day be ripped apart, just as you were from me at birth; and my job, will be
to let you
(Oh God! What did I get myself into to!)
One thought on “Letter to a Newborn”
I heard once that Parenting means abandonment or something like that. You raise your children to abandon you. It was stated this way challenging parents to deal with any abandonment issues they may have while their children are young. This way you hopefully will not cause too much pain for all involved when the letting go process speeds up to out of control rates! I share your sentiment…every child I have I know I am setting myself up for more vulnerability. Though I know this is good for me, sometimes I fear it will over take me and I will not love past my own strong wants. Having babies while the oldest are beginning to spread their wings does help. 🙂