When I met my husband I knew he was the one for me for many reasons. I knew intrinsically that he would be a good father. He was loyal and patient and loved children in general. I could just tell. I had finally found someone in my life that I could wholly trust to start a family with. It was a very powerful, grounded feeling and therefore I embarked on this journey with him and set sail into unchartered waters.
A year and a half after we married my son was born. He was amazing to behold. And it was terrifying to me. I had never changed a diaper. I had never really fed a baby a bottle except when one was placed in my arms and I was told what to do. I didn’t know what to do when Jackson cried. I cried. But I dove in with all my intent, love, passion and focus for this little person that was completely dependent on me for every single need. The enormity of my responsibility of it all was something I will never forget for the rest of my life. But it was a challenge I was ready for. The experience and process of Jackson and I getting to know each other was so much fun. And I enjoyed every little accomplishment he made. Rolling over. Picking something up. His first word was “up” and up into my arms he went whenever he asked snuggly situated onto my hip and carried about until he said “up” again and that meant down. We knew each other’s language. It was without a doubt a time in my life that I will never forget. I learned so much about myself and children and what I was capable of. I had learned to navigate this ship of motherhood.
Now I am finding myself back in the same boat. In waters unfamiliar to me. The shoreline is far off in the distance and I must use my internal navigation system to find my way in order to help Jackson through this watery grief and loss. In this boat with me is Jackson. He is strong both in body and in mind but he is still young. He is still wholly dependent on me for love, support, needs, and understanding. I am his mother and he is now without his father. In this unchartered water we are learning how to sail under a different flag. There is no going back to what we knew, that space is too painful and the fear of getting stuck there keeps us rowing on. We are learning the everyday business of dropping anchor, rowing, hoisting up sails, and avoiding hazards just below the surface of the water. He is doing this without his dad there to guide him. It is solely my job now. And like I was with a newborn I must follow my instincts because there is no guide map through this. We must navigate through new channels, rest in new coves, and get out often and splash about when the water and air is good. Here we go. We are pushing off.