Monday, January 03, 2005

Bearing a king

The day Tyson was conceived is etched in my memory. I called the doctor within days to schedule an appointment, though I had none of the signs - morning sickness, missed "visitor", moodiness - that were customary among expectant mothers. Nevertheless, I FELT him. I felt my child. I felt my son. At night, I'd lay in bed rubbing my belly, awaiting the day that I could hold him. I connected with a being that I had never seen. Hearing his strong steady heartbeat at the doctor's visit was the high point of my month.
Finally, on December 17, 1998 at 10:25 p.m. he arrived. I had been in labor since 7:00 a.m. and needed a last minute C-section. It was the most bizarre feeling. I was lying on a table, wide awake while the doctor sliced open my abdomen. In retrospect, I should have been freaked out, especially when I saw all the blood in the pictures. But I just remember lying their in anticipation. I'm sure that if I weren't temporarily paralyzed by the epidural, I would have been tapping my feet. The best way to describe the situation after they opened me up was that they reached in and "scooped" Ty out. During this time, it felt like all of my guts were pushed into my throat and I "held" them there until I heard my baby cry. Then I saw him. He was the most beautiful hue of pink and brown and his screams were music. It was amazing. I was overwhelmed by love combined with the feeling of being immensely unworthy of the task at hand.
For a while, it seemed like I was unworthy. I sat on his arm once. Then there was the time he was too soapy and squirmy and slipped under the bathwater; or the times he was inconsolable so while he screamed in his crib, I screamed right along with him into the pillow. Despite that, we always shared a connection. Sometimes he'd give me these looks that said "We're gonna ge through this you crazy woman." We were both trying to make it in this world and neither one of us had ANY idea how we were going to actually accomplish that. He "grew me up". He made me a stronger person and a better mother. He gave me the strength to demand the best for myself, because that's the only way he could get the best from me.
Now he's six years old, and before I know it he's going to be towering over me. I think that kissing him in front of his school embarrasses him, and the other day, he asked me for a little privacy. I am now solely responsible for teaching him how to be a successful black man, and I'm definitely trying my best, but it's a little frightening. Then again, we've made it this far. . .

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