I get sappy and introspective during the month of December. If my Husband can deal, so can you. I present to you the following quote:
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” -Elizabeth Stone
Any parent can atest to the truth behind that quote. For example, right now, Nick is walking. They’re those unsure steps that come right after the first few steps. Honestly, he’d still rather crawl. He can get there faster and that pleases him. Yet he keeps on trying to walk. And he falls. And bumps his head on things. And sometimes he cries. And every single time, my Mommy Heart breaks.
Or there are the times that I had to leave him with our babysitter when I was still working outside of the home. Of course, at that time, he didn’t really care one way or the other which probably hurt my Mommy Pride and Mommy Heart even more than if he had thrown a fit. Speaking of fits, now attempting to leave him in the nursery on Sunday morning at church has become a sad little nightmare. I don’t want for him to be sad. I feel guilty and upset knowing that leaving him behind caused him distress.
Someday, he’ll grow up and leave this house. And my heart will worry. Always.
And we don’t have to change that quote at all to include birth mothers, do we? In fact, I think it speaks to the plight of the birth mother even more than us “everday Mammas.” Why? Let’s pick apart the wording.
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous.”
Many of you are about to argue that birth mothers didn’t make the decision to have a child. Wrong. They may not have made the decision to become pregnant; I can agree with that sentiment. Yet at some point in their pregnancy they made a decision to give birth to a child. Some decisions were made because of their pro-life views. Some decisions were made because they found out about their pregnancies too late in the game. All the same, a decision was made to have a child.
And, looking at the quote from the birth mother’s point of view, this next line screams at me even more so:
“It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
Of course, in this point of view, we’re taking the “outside of your body” very, very literally. My heart goes walking on the East Coast of this country. She runs there. She laughs there. She lives there. And that decision? It is forever. She will forever be someone else’s daughter. Outside of my body is also outside of my control. (Not that I can “control” Nicholas but I have a say in his parenting. With the Munchkin, I do not. It’s that simple.)
I used to have this in my signature on the forums, during my pregnancy with Nicholas. It’s a two-fold quotation for me. I am an “everyday Mamma.” I cringe with fear as he attempts to climb into or on top of his toy box, as he explores his world which will inevitably involve hurt, either physical or emotional. I sigh with disbelief every time I pack away clothes that he has outgrown. But I’m also a birth mother. I worry from far away. I worry different things. Will she be angry? Will she understand? Will she care? Will she be privvy to everything I hoped for her? Will she be President? (Hey, she could be.)
I have two hearts walking around this world, both outside of my own body. One near, one far. And goodness, I love them both.