5 years ago today I became a parent.
I remember, as vividly as though it was yesterday, a midwife named Faith passing a brand-new baby up onto my chest and thinking “It’s you! I knew it was you” as though we’d met before.
“It’s a boy!” the midwives exclaimed.
“What?” I said, gazing down at this new life in my arms
“It’s a boy!” Chris repeated
I wondered what they were all talking about. Of course it was a boy, it was my baby boy. I felt as though I recognised him instantly. It wasn’t until later that Chris reminded me we hadn’t known for sure, as we’d never found out the sex. (Although both of us had strongly suspected he was a boy during the pregnancy and the midwives had been referring to the baby as a “him” during labour).
That baby boy turned five years old today, and I could say “What even?! How did that happen? It seems impossible!” because on the one hand, that’s how it feels- the last five years have gone by so quickly, it seems crazy to think that 1,826 other days have passed since that one we spent in Room 6 on the Delivery Suite at St Mary’s Hospital.
On the other hand though, it feels as though he has been a part of our lives much longer. In fact it’s hard to remember exactly what it was like before he came along. No one tells you, when you are pregnant, that when this new human arrives, they will continue to be as much a part of you as when they were inside you. Physically, you have the option to put them down, but even when they’re not with you, they still always are, in some way. They almost become an extension of you, so that now, when I think “He’s five years old” a part of me balks at the passing of time, but another part of me knows and accepts, because I can see him growing in front of me, see him changing every day, feel our relationship shifting continually, reforming and rearranging.
Five years of parenting has taught me a lot, I could probably write a pretty long list of all the things I’ve discovered, and maybe I should have…maybe that’s what this post should have been instead. But then maybe that’s the biggest thing out of everything I have learnt- that the true lessons of parenthood are not quantifiable, and defy explanation.
So instead, I am going to go and bake a huge chocolate cake ready to sing “Happy Birthday” to the little boy who made me a Mama.
5 years ago