As a mother, there are things that we would like to go back and change...if only we could. There are things that we would have done differently. Things we wouldn't have made a big deal about. Things we would have done that would make us better moms.
This blog posting is to my beautiful daughter, who in spite of one such moment in time. when you were 2 1/2 years old, grew up to seem unscathed by my attempts at motherhood.
Let me say that this event has always bothered me. When I've thought about it I've wanted that moment back. Now to realize that it is your first memory of me, absolutely tears my heartstrings. I hope that it is your first memory of me because it is the first memory of yourself. I hope that in the rest of your early memories of me, I didn't let you down.
It was when you were 2 1/2 years old. You were sick. You had been sick for a few days. You were whinny and clingy and over dramatic. (That adjective is really me trying to push a minuscule amount of blame your way.) You had wanted to be up against me 24/7. Nothing I did seemed to make you feel any better. I had taken you to the doctor and it was determined that it was "a virus that needed to run it's course." Your brother was a baby. He wasn't sick, but he still wanted his turn at being held and sitting right up against me. Your dad was working midnight to eight am shifts. Sleeping during the day and gone at night. There was no relief for me. After a couple days of this I was over it! I put you both to bed and I went to bed early.
A side note to this story is that we were having trouble getting you to stay in your bed at night. The pediatrician had told us to allow you to sleep on the floor of our room when you got up, but not in our bed. It was a work in progress.
A few hours after I put you to bed, you woke me out of a dead sleep. You wanted to get into bed with me. You felt hot, but you were running a fever after all. I told you that you couldn't sleep with me, but that you could lay your sleeping bag beside my bed. We did that and we tried to go back to sleep. All of a sudden you were running around the house screaming. You were seeing Lions and elephants. You thought your brother was standing up in his crib (something he couldn't do yet, and certainly wasn't doing in the middle of the night.) I grabbed you and you were burning up. I took your temperature and it was 106. I freaked out, called your dad at work, had a neighbor watch your brother, and we took you to Kaiser. We were home a few hours later, fever in check, and the virus eventually ran it's course.
IF I could do it all over again, I wouldn't have been so tired. I wouldn't have been so OVER you draping your hot little body all over me. I wouldn't have been so worried that letting you sleep with me would move us back to square one. I would have let you sleep with me. I would have held you tight so that when you started seeing the scary things you wouldn't have been alone. I would have somehow known that someday I would give anything to have that moment back. I would have been me, now, looking back and realizing that you would be all grown up before I knew it. I would have made a much better memory of me for you. I would have been a better mommy at that moment.