I remember the first time I really felt like a mom. It didn't come the moment I found out we were having a baby. I think that feeling could be classified as elated shock. It didn't come the day of our ultrasound when we discovered we were having a healthy baby boy. It didn't come at the hospital seconds after hearing Kyle cry for the first time. All of those were wonderful and amazing mom moments. Each one of them reminded me that I was a mom.
But, it was a moment almost 6 weeks after Kyle's birth when I really felt like a mom for the first time. And not just any mom -- Kyle's mom.
It was Kyle's first Christmas and we decided to spend it in Minnesota with Jack's family. We had had 6 whole weeks to get to know our new little bundle of joy and we wanted to show him off to everyone. I was still getting the hang of the mommy thing but I had the basics down. Kyle didn't sleep much or well, but we were getting used to that. Kyle didn't eat much or well, (hard to believe when I see his chubby baby pictures) but we were persevering and supplementing with a bottle. The first couple of days went well. The grandparents were doting and Kyle was adorable. But the third day... was overwelming. It was Christmas and there was perogie to eat and presents to wrap and unwrap. There was music and noise and laughter. Kyle was passed around from Grandma to Aunt to Grandpa -- I think we even made Uncle Robert take a turn. And he was a trooper -- for a while. And then he lost it. He started crying. And not the sweet sniffles, but the loud, wailing, "this kid has lungs!" kind of sound. Aunt Jill took a turn and bounced him and rocked him and sang him a song. Grandpa took a turn and walked around and around the house, showing him the Christmas lights and the mirror (usually Kyle favorites). And finally Grandma took a turn and rocked and sang and shh-ed him in her sweet Grandma way. But Kyle wasn't buying it. He screamed and squirmed and was quiet only long enough to take a breath and start in again.
And that's when it happened... I gathered my firstborn into my arms, held him close and walked back to the dark bedroom. I hummed quietly in his ear and gently stoked his back. And to my utter amazement he quieted down. I felt him snuggle into my shoulder and relax. That's the moment I really felt like a mom -- Kyle's mom. We had all used the same tricks and techniques. We had all rocked and walked and sang and shh-ed. But only I could do it with the special mommy touch that Kyle needed in that moment. And so as Kyle hicc-upped and fell asleep, I continued to rock and sing and stroke and marvel at the beauty of my first mommy moment.