This post is so not what I was going to share with you for my July self-portrait. I had grand plans to take a beautiful beach portrait, a shared snapshot from Nick and I’s short (blissful) Michigan get-away last weekend. Until, that is, my camera gave me the dreaded “Error 99″ message, its shutter locking up and refusing to let go. I was left with just my iPhone to capture our vacation. Have I mentioned I am not an iPhone-grapher? I am forever reminding myself to take more photos with my phone and always forgetting. So I have four photos of our trip, when, had my camera not called it quits, I’d have hundreds. (Lesson learned to always bring a back-up body!)
When I thought about what else was a big part of my July, I couldn’t help but laugh. Ahhhh yes, creating our BABY REGISTRY. Bingo!
Upon making my first trip to Target, I had Nick in tow. I was so excited! We were going to pick out all those onesies! And cute socks! And then….well, and then we got started. No sooner had we walked down that first diaper aisle than I felt beyond overwhelmed. It wasn’t just that we had to pick a BRAND of diapers, we had to pick SIZES too. “So how many newborn-sized ones should I scan?” Nick asked. “Ummm….umm…” was my response. Because not only was there a newborn option, there was a size 1 and a size 2 and a size 3, all of them within a few pounds’ difference of each other (making the math all the more complicated). We’d only been in the store 10 minutes and already my brain was in knots!
We spent the next hour perusing those handful of aisles with me wanting to put my nose in a paper bag, so anxious had I become at all the decisions that needed made right that very second (every now and then, I can be ever so dramatic :) ). We left that day with me telling my husband that life would be a lot simpler if there were just THREE different types of baby lotion. Not SEVENTEEN.
Fast forward to the next weekend, when my best friend and mama of a 2-year-old, Tracy, came down to visit. We spent a few hours on the couch, catching up. Listening to her answer my myriad questions about labor and delivery and those first days home with a newborn, I felt her advice acting like a kind of salve for my stressed-out soul.
When she took me to Target, I let her lead the way in each aisle. The relief that came with every one of her recommendations (“No, you don’t want that sippy cup, you want this sippy cup”) made the experience drastically different. We left that day and I thought, “Hey, I think I can do this!”
Of course, that can-do attitude is in an ever-constant battle with the less-confident part of myself. The one who wants to question if I’m going to be a good mom.
When they say it takes a village to raise a child, I know it’s likely true. And when this baby comes, Nick and I’s wonderful families will be that village, I’m sure. But until then, I know I couldn’t have made it this far in my pregnancy without the guidance and support of my best friend. With every crazy question I’ve sent her, she’s buttressed my insecurities with the best kind of words. The kind that keep reminding me that yes, you can do this.
In one of my last rambling email exchanges, I confided to her about these irrational fears I’ve been having of whether I will love this child enough. “I think it’s because I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the WAY people say they love their kids. Like, since I haven’t experienced that yet, I think, “Will my amount of love measure up to other moms?” I wrote.
And in the calming words she wrote back was this gem: “Trust me, you will love your child and it will always be enough. Always.”
Tracy, I so appreciate you reminding me of this. Because I know it’s true, the same way I know it will be the mantra I cling to as I enter this unexplored world of motherhood that awaits me. All I can say is thank you for paving the way for me first.