the mother's curse

"I hope you have a child who is just like you."

Not just so you can understand what "14 hours of labor" really means.

Not just so someday, many days from this one, I can get a phone call from you saying, "wow, Mom, thanks for not murdering me when I was two."

Not just so someday I can laugh and laugh and not have to help when I hear you say, "we do not throw food," or "please don't step on your sister!" or "one more bite of carrots. Come on, buddy."

I mean, yes. All of that.

Oh God, yes.

But I mostly want you to have a child just like you so that you understand why I pulled you back so many times, from the slippery stone stairs, from playing football, from trying pot, from driving too fast, from the world and all its sharp, sickening threats. So you know why I was really just totally fine with making you sad that you missed out.

So one day, you can feel the warm weight of your new baby on your chest and understand that Ryan and I did not have any idea what we were doing, either.

So that you can be moved to silence by the rare moments when your wild cannonball toddler chooses to rest his head on your shoulder. So you know someone else was moved once too.

So that we can finally have an honest conversation about how much love is.

So you can know how deeply, completely, helplessly, fearfully you were loved for your entire life.

So I get to have another another little grinning pork chop pudge-fest of a Buster, another cackling beloved madman Chicken.

So I get to have you, sweet and small, all over again.

I hope you have a child who is just exactly like you.

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