I was heavily drugged and not even a little bit clear-headed when Harrison was put in front of me for the first time, so I didn't have this explosion of emotion and love that everyone talks about when they see their baby for the first time. I loved him, of course...I just didn't know how to form a word or a thought in that moment other than, "don't barf, don't barf." And that was taking everything in me. A few hours later when they woke me up and had him with them to hand to me for the first time, they didn't even give me a minute to wake up a little and hold him before it became all business. This is how you nurse and you want to shove this here and do this right now and hold his head like this!!! I really got robbed of those first moments. I'm not bitter though. Over the next couple of weeks, I really got to fall in love with Harrison and get to bond with him for the first time. I thought I couldn't love anyone more than I loved him right then. I was so wrong.
I love this boy more every day, and when I wake up every morning feeling like it couldn't even be possible to love him more, and then go turn on his lamp and watch him groggily roll over, sit up and reach for me with his eyes barely open...I just get knocked over with an even bigger dose of love than the day before. The tiniest, most insignificant things make me so happy. Watching him sit on the floor of the kitchen and eat a popsicle. Watching him play for a minute when I pick him up from daycare, and he doesn't know I'm there yet. When he eats his dinner and says, "Mmmmm!" after every bite. When he gets home from school and immediately starts asking for the dog. "Ah-yer? Ah-yer?" Which is the best prounounciation of Oliver I've ever heard, by the way. The way he walks around hugging a stuffed animal and patting it on the back. His dance moves. I have to catch my breath sometimes when I think of him or watch him do something new. He is far and away the best thing I have ever done and the reason my life now has life in it. I want nothing more than the priviledge of watching him grow up into a happy, beautiful man.
Today is April 19th. The anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing, in which nineteen young children and babies were killed. When I think of how much I love my son, and how much he has given me in just one year, and then think of how it would feel to lose him like that...my heart hurts for everyone who lost someone that day, but it's agony to think of the ones who lost their babies. My heart goes out to them, because I know that even after all this time, they are still hurting...especially today.
Lately, I am reminded more and more to never take for granted this gift I have been given, and I make it a point to thank God every night for my son and ask Him to watch over him and protect him. I may still have some traces left in me of the selfish person I was before Harrison, but he has softened my heart and taught me what it means to love. I pray I get to tell him that every day for many, many, many years to come.