Oliver Trevor Jay Connell's Photoblog Photographs & Video documenting Oliver Connell's life

dana | on motherhood

On Mother’s Day, it will be two years since I announced my pregnancy to my family.

At the time, I didn’t know how motherhood would affect me. I didn’t know I’d be having a little boy, or how that little boy would fundamentally change my life.

Oliver is now almost 18 months old. Within that time, he has learned to smile, to roll over, to sit up, to hold things in his hand, to eat solid food, to stand, to walk, and now to run (although it’s more like a an ambling sort of scamper, sometimes on his toes. He likes to be chased because he wants to be caught and kissed. And tickled.)

I am not one of those smug women who believes motherhood has made me some kind of earth goddess and that performing this biological feat somehow absolves me from all other challenges in life. Instead, I am awed by the force of pure love that resides in this small son of mine, this unique and growing soul, which – but for my husband and I – would not have existed.

Oliver has eyes as blue as a lake in northern Ontario. And when he smiles, they sparkle like the sun on the water. Shy dimples only appear when properly coaxed. His cap of yellow-blond hair is often tousled, either by sleep or play. Sometimes there is food in it.

His energy is boundless. He talks even though he can’t speak a coherent form of English yet, but he communicates and makes jokes, nonetheless. I love to watch him play – pushing his cars across the floor, or stacking his coloured cups. Hugging his bears.

I am besottedly proud of everything he does, and every advancement he makes. I love that he is currently enthralled by tulips, and must go and look inside the centre of each one we encounter on our walks. (Our neighbours are very understanding about this and fortunately, no flowers are harmed in Oliver’s pursuit of curiosity.) I love that he eats squash with all the concentration and precision of a champion chess player. Watching him now use a fork is sublime.

Motherhood, to me, is a combination of the sweetest love imaginable, as well as an aching, haunting pain. The love is a given, or should be, but is indescribable in its wake. The pain exists because having a child can also mean great worry, and certainly it is a tremendous responsibility to guard and guide that child through the years of his life, at least until adulthood, but often beyond.

I know that one day, my son will get older. He’ll resist bathing. He might want to play video games all the time. He’ll acquire dubious friends and perhaps even more dubious girlfriends. His room will turn into a pit and I might find certain magazines there. I might find… ah, but never mind what I might find!

Right now, my son is still innocent of the ways of the world. He knows only kisses and cuddles, cats and sippy cups. I can’t keep it that way, and I don’t want to. But I savour every moment, every step of his development, as I bask in the light of his sunny little smile, and carry the immeasurable love I feel for him in my heart.


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