Twenty-nine years ago today I became a mother when my son flew home from Korea. He was 9 months old, jet lagged with ear infections and trying to communicate his needs in a language I didn't understand.
My first days as a mother were filled with tenderness, compassion, and fear. Here I was trusted with the most precious gift of all, yet we were strangers but the day before. No owner’s manual arrived with him, not even a bottle of formula or dry diaper. We navigated this new world together hour by hour, feeling our way along. Small steps, like the first time he smiled when he recognized my face or when I figured out he wanted to be carried in a sling on my back as he had in Korea and he snuggled in immediately. We learned from each other.
This crisp fall day is an exact replica of the day he arrived right down to the few leaves still clinging to the trees in the sunshine. I cuddled him close and we took a walk around the neighborhood, the smell of the turkey and pumpkin pies drifting out of kitchen windows.
The memories wash over me. Once again I am a new mother who, although a little unsure of herself, is very sure her heart is bursting open with gratitude and love.