It’s a moment I’ll never forget: my howling baby girl, who had once again stayed quiet just long enough to hook myself up to the milking machine before starting to cry.
I ripped the horns from my breasts, howling myself in sheer frustration. If I wanted to breast feed, I needed to pump. How on earth was I supposed to make this work?
I picked her up, crying myself. As I cradled her, I told her that I just wasn’t cut out to be her mom. To be anyone’s mom. That life had dealt her a really shit hand, being stuck with me.
I told her I could never love her, and I believed it. Down to the very depths of my soul.
She’s learning to skate. She loves to dance. She spins like a dervish. So tonight we looked up “Figure Skating” on YouTube. We watched a clip – commentated in Italian – of Emily Hughes skating in the Torino Olympics. We watched her jump and spin. We watched her fall, and get back up again.
Over and over.
She picks up her little sister when she’s down. She tells me she loves me. Today, out of the middle of nowhere, she thanked me for making dinner. And tonight, as we watched Emily skate, the leaps and spins were punctuated with “Go go go go GO! YOU DID IT! Good job!” The cheers were heartfelt, the enthusiasm palpable.
It’s a moment I hope I never forget.