Tonight as you lay tucked in with your Hedgie and your heavy blankie, close by your brother, I feel the weight.

I feel it often.

I feel it when I think back to your perfect face that I caressed almost six years ago in the hospital. So bright eyed, so much unknown.

When those years ago as a brand new mother, I cried in sleep deprivation while longing to feel myself again.

I feel the weight when I relive the start of your life, digging for clues on when things started to change.

Was it me?

Did I not hold you enough?

I was so so tired and afraid, is that what I did wrong?

I feel this weight in my chest as I overanalyze every detail. I feel it as I meticulously pull apart memories of my own imperfection.

When I would sit your one year old body in the pack n play, nursery rhymes flashing on the tv, so that I could take a shower.

Or the food battles that I should have given in too.

Even the first month of your life when I battled with post partum depression and should have sought out more help than I did.

When I threw in the towel and stopped breastfeeding, long before six months.

But then something funny happens.

As my mind convinces me of all my faults as a mother, I remember the bits buried in the fog.

I feel the peace of the brand new mother singing A Child’s Prayer to her baby every night before laying him down.

The nightly bath times with giggles and bath crayons staining my tub.

I hear the hum of your stuffed whale toy and its ocean sounds, played on repeat through the night to soothe your newborn body. I still sway to that sound.

The pride on my face as I realized that my toddler could read. You wouldn’t talk, but boy could you read.

I remember the look on your face, so focused, when you would arrange your array of foam bath letters, hour after hour.

The joy I felt as you learned to talk, completely on your own timetable.

The memories pile in and melt the weight.

Sweet boy, I know tomorrow I’ll make mistakes.

Maybe I’ll yell or wish for bedtime too soon.

We’re growing together, it’s okay.

There is so so much weight in our journey. But son, there is so much light. There is joy and love, pure light.

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