This night last year, I walked out to the backyard of my parents place for a little relief. I was heavily pregnant, one week away from my due date and showing no signs of an early labour. Feeling short of breath and flustered, the blazing heat of the fireplace was killing me, so short breaks in the winter wind had never felt so good. The night was clear and surprisingly bright. I looked up and took a moment to take in how blue the sky was. A few minutes passed before I decided to go back inside, and as I looked away from the night blue, I felt God was asking me “what do you want?”. I looked up one last time before closing the screen door and said out loud, “you know exactly what I want.” I didn’t really mean to give Him attitude, but it worked. The next day, I got what I wanted. My son was born healthy and without too much fuss, on the same day as my birthday.
On the 29th of June 2016, I made a promise to my little boy. I vowed that I was giving myself only one year to recalibrate. One year to do three things; establish a home for just the two of us; one year to reimagine and rebuild our future; and last, to be strong, healthy and confident enough to celebrate his first birthday overseas. Considering how hard I fell in the early stages of my pregnancy, I knew none of this would be easy. I was served lesson after lesson, and at times I felt like throwing in the towel and giving up on my promises. My ego tried to convince me that maybe I needed another year? Perhaps two more years?
Despite how tired my spirit was, the right people kept showing up (even when I didn’t ask for it) and gave me the love and guidance that I needed to keep on moving.
We’ve all heard the cliches about motherhood, that it’s the best and scariest thing in the world. That it’s challenging and terrifying and wonderful and fulfilling – and believe it or not, it’s all true. But in my case, motherhood didn’t just change me. It redeemed me. It reminded me of how strong I am. How blessed I am. How powerful I am. How purposeful I am. And most importantly, being Xavier’s mother has opened my eyes to what I am capable of achieving, irrespective of the opinions of those who continue to underestimate me.
This may sound harsh to anyone who hasn’t been dealt with the cards I was served, but motherhood forced me to burn the plans I had for my little “family” to the ground. Motherhood taught me to bury who I was as a wife. She doesn’t matter anymore. The ashes are cold, the memories are dust. The fire that used to burn cannot hurt me anymore. It cleared the way for new growth and I am exactly where my son needs me to be.
Our new home is nearly ready, the future is bright, and Disneyland is only 2 short weeks away.
Happy birthday to us.