My most precious gift is my son and I have been doubly blessed to be gifted with him twice. The moment he was born was easily the most amazing experience I had had in my life. Apart from the large amounts of swearing pain and general mess I was so overwhelmed when he was put in my arms. After all those months of carrying him and suddenly there he was so small and perfect and it hit me that here was a little person, separate and unique in all the world.
He grew so quickly and next thing I knew he was eyeballing the photographer with a dubious look at his first ‘school photo’, which was really day care but still his first formal picture not to do with family.
He grew up so quickly – it was like watching a camera fast forwarding, every day older and every day just as funny and smart as always. But I stopped growing, my anxiety started eating me alive slowly eating away at my life until there was so little left of me that I froze in fear. My greatest regret and one that will never leave me even as I learn to live with it was the loss of my relationship with my son.
This was the last photo I had of he and I as mother and son. I have so many photos of him over the next years but none with me, they are all garnered from others and even though they surrounded me all those years I was still not there with him when it counted.
He was gifted to me a second time when after years of fighting the anxiety and fear that had crippled me emotionally and stolen untold moments from me and from him, he didn’t turn from me but let me reach out to know him as he is now. I’m so lucky he was willing to try and it is a gift I will never lose again. I owe so much to my ex-husband and his wife as well as my own family who were there while I cowered out of sight so scared of life that I stopped living it. But no more I won’t hide again and I won’t run, I am no longer that scared creature so fearful of the world and even if the anxiety did come upon again the way it has in the past I know now that avoiding life and all its wonder is far worse than the pain that can come with living it.