The day I saw my son’s heartbeat I wept joyful tears at the pulsing flicker on the screen. The curl of his hair, the smiles that light the universe, his first steps, hugs, and kisses, and all the ordinary ways of boys make me puff out like a strutting peacock. It is the way of mothers.
I used to photographically chronicle nearly every breath Waleed took [no really, come by sometime, my iPhotos are like a claymation project of his first year of life] but lately I’m lagging so when Waleed climbed into my lap yesterday I seized the opportunity to snap a picture and sent it to my parents who’ve missed the regular barrage of pictures that once were. Ten minutes later I got a call.
Ami: We got the photo! We put it as our desktop wallpaper!
Me: I’m glad you liked it!
Ami: I love it, what a great photo of both of you!!!
Me: Well, my baby looks adorable but I’m a notch below sea monster here.
Ami: Don’t talk about my baby like that!
My love for my mother is deeper than oceans but I didn’t know until I had a child that the love a child has for their parent is a different flavor than the love a parent has for their child. It’s like only knowing brownie fudge ice cream all your life and then discovering the glory that is mint chocolate chip. Motherhood introduced me to flavors I didn’t know existed; amazing but astonishingly different tastes to the senses.
I still call my almost two-year-old my baby so I can only smile at my mother’s deadpan admonishment that I not in any way berate hers. It’s hard to imagine that one day my little one might have little ones but when that day comes I’m pretty sure, like my own mother, I’ll see the man he grew to be, but also the baby whose toes I tickled, and whose aching tummy I massaged. He will always be my baby, a source of more joy and love than I previously thought the world could possibly contain.