In case you’re wondering why I spelled “tRoo” with a capital “R” and two “O”s, no, it’s not because “true beauty” was already taken and I just couldn’t let it go. We’d decided very early in my pregnancy with our one and only child that, if it was a boy, we’d name him Joseph after my husband’s grandfather. Since a Joey is a baby kangaroo, I decided immediately upon finding out it was, in fact, a boy that my nickname for him would be Roo. I’ve had visions of him calling me from college someday saying, “Hey, Mom, it’s Roo,” because, ya know, that’s our thing and he will always love his mama. And, since he is the embodiment of everything that is beautiful and right in the world, he is my inspiration.
Yes, when it comes to my son, I am every sappy, eyeroll-inducing, make-you-throw-up-in-your-mouth-a-little cliché. I admit it. I love him to the moon and back, he is my sunshine, mama’s little man, he’ll always be my baby, and so on, and so on, and so on. Feel free to groan and mock me. I’m at peace with it. In fact, I love it.
I was never a woman dead set on having kids in the first place. But, man, the thought of missing out on this makes me want to punch myself in the uterus. I never wanted to say it out loud because I do realize it sounds condescending to people who don’t have kids, and that is certainly not my intention (whether you want kids but have been struggling to get pregnant, or you don’t want kids at all, I got nothin’ but love for ya). But, damnit, I’m gonna apologize in advance and say it anyway because it’s also very real… You just can’t fully understand this love until you have it. Nothing else is quite the same.
When I am in my darkest hole (and it can get pretty dark in there), his smile lures me out. For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a purpose and a meaningful identity; he is my every reason and ignites every fiber of my being. Being a mom, though, has also brought to the surface some of my greatest fears, some unthinkable thoughts, and merciless anxiety. He is perfectly well-adjusted; I’m the one with attachment disorder. I don’t want to go anywhere without him. I just want to smooch on his smoochy little face all day long and hear his laugh echoing in my ears.
My dream is to someday be able to work on my own terms, so I can spend more time with him. There’s really no such thing as work/life balance when your kid is your life and that just bears so much more weight than anything else possibly could. But I thank my lucky stars each and every day that I was blessed with him. I also know I can’t let him be my life raft, and I hope he never feels that he is. For him, I need to build strength, both physically and emotionally. For him, I need to do better. For him…well, that’s really all there is.