Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dancing with a Baby in the Belly

I found a cd today entitled "Dancing with a Baby in the Belly". I made it when I was pregnant. It was a great mix of 60's and 70's cheesy, happy songs- like Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da and Happy Together. I used to spend hours dancing in the shower to it, sure that the baby inside of me could hear. I wondered what she would look like, how she would sound, what kind of personality she would have. I haven't listened to that cd since I was pregnant. And then I found myself today, 2 1/2 yrs later, listening to these songs and dancing with the most amazing and beautiful child in my arms. I could have never imagined her... or our life as it is.

I had been so terrified when I was pregnant. I was so sure that I could never be a good mother. I had so long been lost to my own failures and short-comings that the indaquecy I felt at having to live up to something for the sake of someone else was overwhelming. I knew it would be difficult, immensely hard, challenging, but I had no idea that it could or would be happy as well. I hadn't even considered it. But here I am, over 2 yrs in, completely overwhelmed by the goodness of my life, of being a mother. We have a happy home, a life full of music and laughter and play and learning and sharing, of walks and meals and treats and snuggles. And I am not a perfect mother, by any means, but I am a good mother. I never knew I could possess or share this much love but I do.

My daughter is an amazing creature. I don't know that I can ever fully appreciate the capacity of her soul. She is bright and happy and observant and friendly. She remembers things and people and songs. She makes everyone she meets smile. She makes me smile. Even at 2, she is intuitive and compassionate. She feeds bugs and tries to hug squirrels. And she still keeps me up at night but I can only attribute that to her insatiable zeal to experience every single moment of life possible to its very fullest. She is nothing like the baby I had imagined when she was still growing in my belly. She is so much more, with her blonde curls and wide eyes and belly laugh that is so delicious it makes my heart hurt, with her certain voice and independent manner. She is joy. And though I was terrified for the first 6 months of her existence, which is how long it took for me to become convinced that she was real and she was here to stay, I realized that for the first time in my adult life I was and am truly and genuinely happy. I have experienced a love and contentment that I never thought I deserved. It has opened my heart and brought with it so much healing and goodness into my life.

I am nothing close to that uncertain and terrified girl who danced to the Beatles with a belly full of baby almost 3 yrs ago. That baby has changed my existence. I am now a mother, a woman, defined, secure, loved and loving. And though this is not what I imagined the good life to look like, this is the best life possible.