Before and After

My son's second birthday seems as good a reason as any to write for the first time in nearly a year.

Today we celebrated two years of life with my little Mighty Warrior. It gave me pause to think about life before and life after him. You hear comparisons about how it feels to become a mother — going from black-and-white to color or, as seems more relevant today, 2-D to 3-D. It's all true.

But what's harder to describe or pinpoint is when precisely the transition takes place. You could say it's the instant you see your child; maybe it is. Certainly the love at first sight is there. But whether you feel the Technicolor or 3-D right then depends on the person.

Inevitably one day, not long after your first bundle has arrived, you have a moment to stop and think about the before and after.

Before my son, I don't think that I knew true fear, true fearlessness, true sacrifice, true bliss — in a way, it's a bit like what C.S. Lewis called "the shadowlands." I had an idea of what all those things were, an even better idea once I got married. But parenthood took them to a new level.

The true wonder of it all is when the before and after start running together...or is it they both dissolve? In either case, it's not that you can't remember life before your child (I know he wasn't with me at my first church camp), but more that you can't remember living without him. It's like the idea or promise of my son has been a driving force in my life since I myself was a child. Time almost seems irrelevant in his existence. Is it because life begins with motherhood? Is it because motherhood changes your view of life? I don't care which. I'm only grateful it happened to me.

Since becoming a mother, I've been intrigued by romantic love songs that can double as mother/child love songs. This one, called "Fear of Heights" by Katie Melua, is my latest obsession.

I never walked near the edge
Used to fear falling
I never swam far from shore
Never tried the secret door
But When you give me love
When you give me love

I have no fear of heights,
No fear of the deep blue sea,
Athough it could drown me,
I know it could drown me

I didn't wander in the woods
Used to fear the darkness
I didn't like getting deep
I was scared of what I couldn't keep
But when you give me love
When you give me love

I have no fear...

No fear of the fall
No fear if it's with you that I fall
'cause nothing could break us,
No, nothing could break us, now


Everyday Anne said...

Lovely post, my friend. I've missed reading your blog thoughts. Keep writing!

Father Knows (Travis) Best said...

Our boy is a special gift. I miss him right now, in fact, as he naps.

Kate said...

The Shadowlands. There is a lot to think about in that post. Ms. Lane, you never cease to amaze and surprise.


2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Re the mammogram: I had lost weight, it showed in the mammogram, translation: smaller breasticles.