March 6, 2003.
It was a Thursday. Cold, like, -40 cold.
I hadn’t slept in 2 days and I had just brought a 9 pound, 5 oz baby into the world without the benefit of drugs.
I still looked pregnant. Everything felt sore and wrong. I wanted to sleep and eat and shower, all at the same glorious time, and I couldn’t do any of it.
To top the whole thing off, I was in charge of this small, screaming person.
I was in a place that smelled and felt and looked weird, and my whole world had turned inside out on itself, and I was supposed to be someone’s mom, now.
I had no idea how to do that.
So I cried for a while. Didn’t help. I tried all the things the nurses suggested, trying not to feel stupid that someone else had to tell me what to do.
And when we were alone, finally, I stared at his little face. With its perfect little upturned nose. And a million little eyelashes, and a chin that looked like it would have my dimple, one day. His wild swirls of hair, his pink fingernails, his fuzzy little back.
I still didn’t feel like I knew how to be a mom. But I knew I loved him. And I figured that might just be a big part of it.
And so, I sang to him. A song whose lyrics I would later realize, upon deeper analysis, were all kinds of emotionally fucked up. Which, in retrospect, was absolutely perfect for that moment.
Day 7 – A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event
You Are My Sunshine
i still love this song, despite the all kinda fucked up lyrics.
And I didn’t even know all the verses! It’s incredibly sad and passive aggressive.
I think you’ve come close to the perfect summary of the first day! I remember when my eldest was about eight hours old, it began to snow. Explaining snow to someone who doesn’t speak your language, doesn’t care and is sleeping seems pretty futile; but, at the time, it was so important. I wanted so badly to share the world with her and all she needed was her little few square feet of comfort.
My mother used to sing this to me when I was a little girl
Kind of timeless, isn’t it?
I still sing this song to my boyos, Nick Disaster still hears it every night before bed, doesn’t matter about the lyrics, most children’s songs are dark and morbid, Rock a bye Baby, hell that song scares me so much i ‘ve changed the lyrics, still this is good stuff, i don’t know what it’s like to give birth but i do know what it’s like to be looking at that little dude and being completely and totally lost and completely and totally in love…
I. KNOW. The first time I tried rock a bye baby, I had to stop.
Glad to see you back Ginny. Once the cork is popped on personal lyricism, it can’t be replaced. At least not for long.
I love the bitter-sweet feel in your writing.
Thanks so much, Michael. Good to be back.
Happy Birthday to your son (three weeks belated).
Happy Birthday to me (today).
That’s a freaky bit of coincidence, right there.
I sang too. ‘Strange & beautiful are the stars tonight, that dance around your head.’ Blue Rodeo’s Lost Together. I didn’t know all the words then, but I could see the stars in his little, searching eyes, and I was lost — in the best possible way. I looked at the lyrics just now, and I don’t think they meant it to be love song from mother to son, but it works. What’s motherhood if not ‘stumbling from one distaster to another’…
I always knew I liked you. That song makes an appearance later in this list…
(I am getting more than a little teary picturing you singing that to a newborn B.)