Before my first child was born I feared motherhood and swore it off. I thought that if I had children I would abusive just like my mother and foster grandmother. The belief I held so close was that I was incapable of loving anything because I would break it. At the time I felt that anyone I touched or cared for would just disintegrate into thin air. How could anyone with my history be a mother and raise another human being to be a good person?
The day my first child arrived in this universe was the day my heart cracked open. Every mental barricade I placed came flooded with emotion I have never felt. I remember debating if I should place my son up for adoption. Only being eighteen and on the verge of homelessness, I felt that I had already failed this small life. The doctor placed my son in my room and told me to think on it. If he hadn’t done this the outcome of my life would be so different, actually I wouldn’t be alive today. Upon seeing my son I lifted his tiny body and held it to mine. At that moment my world changed as I felt whole for the first time.
My son held my finger his little hands could barely wrap around mine. His full head of black spiky hair smelled so good. He looked so small and fragile that I didn’t want to put him down. My purpose in life so crystal clear: protect this little human at all costs, and learn together to love each other. Something primal climbed into my soul I was his mother and a mother knows no bounds for what she will do for her child.
I don’t have a manual for my child or how to parent when I did not have a mother to guide me. Sometimes when my son and I are fighting I hear the faint promise of the first day that no matter what I will love him. When he says I hate you I respond with I love you to, at that moment he may not see it but I will love him to the end of the universe. I still have fears on the bad days of motherhood but I will never give up trying to find new ways to love myself and my children.
We are a growing garden with fresh bulbs of unique flowers. We grow every day with the promise of eight years ago to never let the stalks go dry and tend each petal with grace and compassion. In the far future I will watch my children water their small gardens of life with the same promise of love and good will.
Written by Ali Johnson
Credited artist goes to Christian Jourdrey