You know that feeling you get when you look at your child and your heart swells so much, you fear it just may burst right then and there? You feel it pulsating within your chest, the tears forming at the corners of your eyes, that lump tightening in your throat, you want to shout out, “I’m his mom!” pointing your son’s way. Sure, you inherited your mother’s weepy genes and that may play a role in this moment but it’s your own little creation you’re talking about. I made that, you stand back and smile at your accomplishment!
This feeling comes over me so often I should probably be under the care of a cardiologist! Just today, at swim practice it happened again! My little man, splashing in the water, giving his all to propel his body across the endless sea the pool must feel like to him. 50 meters is a long way to swim when you’re a kid, but he did it. Not once, but over and over and over, for an hour straight. Each time he swam past my seat in the bleachers, taking the time to give me that big thumbs up, the grin so wide across his face, he must have drank a gallon and a half of pool water. His almond shaped blue eyes, red from the chlorine, not quite able to understand that closing your eyes in the pool is an unspoken rule.
It was a moment of celebration, a good day in a sea of what can seem like so many bad days. But it’s there, that feeling in my heart. A feeling that only a parent knows, and I can’t wait for the next one! Moments like this remind me of what my job as mom really is. Making sure I’m watching as he swims past, waiting with my own thumbs up for him! It’s about making sure I don’t miss a moment like this, an opportunity for my heart to go pitter pat over a boy so amazing they gave him three copies of his 21st chromosome. A moment I’m so lucky to have a front row seat for.
~Jayne Schroeder Hickey, mother of three from Gardiner, Maine