Tuesday, March 27, 2012

womb memories

my dearest friends once told me that at ages two and three, a child still has memories of their time in the womb; and that  sometimes they're able to articulate what they remember.  

the same friends told me that when they asked their son, then 3, what he remembered from being in his mama's womb, his answer was, "blub." 

this story did not prepare me for the conversation i had with the boy, not two days ago.
me: son, do you remember what it was like to be in mama's belly?  
the boy: uh-huh.me: really? what was it like? 
the boy: i can't see you. 
me: [slightly caught off guard]  you couldn't see me?  
the boy: yeah.  
me: so... you wanted to see me but you couldn't see me? 
the boy: yeah. 
me: huh. do you remember hearing anything else?  
the boy: talking. 
me: you remember hearing talking?  
the boy: yeah. 
me: [speechless, mouth gaping]

i so loved being pregnant. i really, really did. it must have been like, the "disneyland" of pregnancies because i was the happiest, jolliest preggers you would have ever met. 

january 2008
photo by kelly
many will attest that this was not their experience. but i really loved knowing that the boy was inside me. every movement was an inside joke. i would sit in meetings at work and instead of getting caught up in "drama," i'd rub my belly and smile to myself as the boy hiccuped, just to let me know that there are more important things in life than whatever was the concern of the day.

i loved feeling that he was growing. that i had no idea who he was and yet,  with every passing moment he became an inextricable part of my life force. 

and what he remembers - what he tells me he remembers, was that it irked him that he couldn't see me. that he heard talking. 

me, the wife, and the boy in the womb
january 2009
photo by kelly 
i'm not sure why i am all awe that these are his womb memories. but i am. 

perhaps it's because the boy rarely stops talking himself, these days.

or maybe it's because a lot of the talking i do is a direct result of anger or irritation - reflex reactions for inappropriate toddler behaviour. sometimes uncalled for, other times necessary - neither of which is my favourite.

or... because i am now able really cherish the "real" conversations we have... when he tells me the story of how he got hurt,  why he's sad, what they did in school, and blessedly, what he's happy about and what he can't wait to do or see. and especially, the golden moments when he says, "i love you, too." 

the boy
9 weeks in utero
august 2008
midnight tonight marks the moment, when three years ago, my body was a literal lightning in a bottle, storming to give way to the remarkable little boy i will spend the rest of my life getting to know. i became a mother.

i'm so glad i interviewed the boy about his womb memories. 

because as a mother, what i want for our family, the foundation of what we are trying to build every day (though some days are better than others), has never been clearer: that our little foursome will want to see each other often and always; and that we never stop talking - and listening - to each other, especially when it's most difficult to do so. come what may.

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