The name Amber doesn't lend itself well to nicknames. Aunts and uncles shortened it to "Ambie" and my mom tried on "Ber" for awhile, but neither really stuck. I was called Matony for years, after a commercial starring the Flying Matony Brothers that I apparently loved as a baby, but that was a name reserved only for the closest of family. But there was one nickname that stuck for a long time, used by most everyone and probably not with the kindest intentions. They called me Motormouth. Motormouth because my jaw was always flapping, tongue always rattling. I didn't walk until 17 months, but I spoke in complete sentences seemingly from birth. My dad once bet me that I couldn't go an entire day without talking and with $20 on the line (or $5 or $100 - all I know is that at 8 years old it seemed like A LOT) I was determined to prove him wrong. I did well, fighting the urges in order to gain my prize (and pride) and my dad paid up. But later he confessed that as I played the piano that afternoon, picking keys one by one, I sang along with a made up song, never even knowing my mouth was running.
And yet now, somehow when so much is happening, the hum of the motor has slowed. Inexplicably, the woman who has always refused to be silenced is quiet.
I want to talk - I do. I want to share quirky tidbits about life as a mom, about leaving the house without noticing the cheerios stuck to my ass, about finally electing to leave the diaper bag at home only to have a major poop-splosion moments later, about the wacky and wild days of motherhood. But much as I love my son (and my heart bursts at the thought of him napping peacefully (in his crib!) in the room down the hall) I can't delude myself that those tidbits are interesting to anyone but me. And frankly, some days they aren't interesting to me either.
I am enjoying motherhood in ways I never expected. Sure, there are some lonely afternoons and the nights are still long and sleepless, but I adore my Oliver Robin. I find him intriguing and hilarious and smooshable. He fills me up each and every day, even fuller than the box after box of Thin Mints I scoffle. I worry about him (not eating, not crawling, not sleeping, not sleeping, not sleeping) and yet vehemently defend him when others express those same concerns. I could reserve every breath for him for the rest of my days: breathing him in, deeply inhaling his essence, feeling his very being fill my lungs and course through my veins, bringing life to every cell of my tired body.
He fills me so entirely, a vessel overflowing, and yet I miss the days when I created my own energy, was responsible for filling myself.
I can blabber endlessly about his moments, his laughs, his pincer grasp and teeth, but I have no moments of my own anymore. People ask me how I am and I am honestly unable to respond. I don't think I exist anymore, certainly not in the way I did before. I am responsible for helping this small little man create his world, develop his senses and yet I feel, at this moment, so underdeveloped myself. In 9 months I haven't created anything (literally or figuratively) that was born of myself. And I miss me.
I have become his vessel, his vase in which the buds of his personality bloom and that is a role I value beyond all else. But there was a time when I tilled my own soil and forced my own dormant seeds to blossom. *I* was responsible for making my world beautiful.
I could feel my own power then, stretch my own wings. Now those wings don't expand but rather contract to envelop my baby bird (my Robin) to help him discover his own power. And to watch him soar might be even more beautiful than my own flight. But I yearn for the wind to ruffle my feathers too. I need to try to fly alongside him, but I just can't remember how.