Four years ago today, when my son was born, I never could have imagined the world he’d open in my heart – the joy and sorrow, fear and pride, responsibility and silliness that comes along with motherhood.
Pacing the maternity room that day, awaiting my son’s arrival, I remember the black hole that loomed before me as my future. I simply couldn’t picture it. What would life with a child look like? How would it change me? Would I change at all?
Oh yes, I soon discovered, I would change. Everything would change.
Lucas arrived seemingly healthy, but he was almost immediately a difficult child. He spent the first three months of his life sleeping all day and screaming all night. Only 2 a.m. stroller rides bundled against the cold quieted his rage. We’d ease baby and stroller back into our house, hours later, and leave him asleep inside it, afraid any unnecessary movement would stir him and renew the entire process.
I decided motherhood held little joy. It was work. It was hard. Why did people have babies?
But eventually his fits morphed into laughter, as he found pleasure in the world around him. My husband and I delighted at his discoveries and the adorable faces he’d make. We figured out how to get him to sleep by 8 p.m. – without the stroller. We had some time for ourselves again. A perfect family. How cute.
Now motherhood was fun. It was rewarding. It was amazing! Why doesn’t everybody have kids? Maybe I’ll have more!
Then Lucas stopped progressing. His language failed to develop, his motor skills stalled, and he wasn’t interested in toys or children or even his parents. Something was wrong.
Lucas had autism. We began a years-long journey of speech therapy, occupational therapy, educational therapy, diet restrictions, doctors appointments, crying and waiting and wondering and, yes, sometimes cursing.
Motherhood isn’t fun. It’s tragic. I’m suffocating. I’m afraid. I’m angry. What a ripoff.
Fast forward a few years. It’s Lucas’s 4th birthday party on Sunday. He squeals with joy as his friend Jorge chases him around the birthday table. He blows out all the candles on his cake before devouring a slice. He says “thank you” to everyone who brought him a present and correctly answers “four” when asked his age, though it does take a few reminders.
He is talking. He is smiling. He is playing with toys. And he loves his parents.
Motherhood rocks! I love this gig!
(Happy birthday, Lucas)
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emily Le Coz / NEMS Daily Journal