My birthing experience was a dramatic and pathetic turn of events. I acted so crazy, they held me down, put a mask over my face, and loudly shouted the words “DO. YOU. TRUST. US?”
Before I could say, “No.” I was OUT!
It’s a really good story that I will share with you one day! I laugh about it now, but remember how I said our emotions rob us of opportunities and achievement?, (If not, check out this story.) Well in this situation, my emotions robbed me of the chance to witness my first child being born. Ouch! Right? That’s not really my point right now though…
When I came to, my mind immediately picked back up where it left off like only seconds had passed instead of hours. I sat straight up still in a panic and immediately asked about my baby. When they handed me Jai for the first time…LAWD an atomic bomb went off in my heart.It was so wonderful and awesome and unbelievable and over the top fireworks kind of incredible. I still cry just thinking about it.
He was a big eyed, 7 pound, 21 inch, yellow (not high yellow like some black babies, just plain yellow) little bundle of amazingness. Well…yall know genetic mathematics:
1 brown skinned black person + 1 darker skinned black person = a light brown skinned baby
Jai’s math was off…I desperately grabbed Canaan’s arm and reassured him that I had NOT cheated on him. Turns out Jai had a little bit of jaundice! (Whew! That was a close one!)
Anyway, I was on top of the world…for about 1.5 days. Canaan had to get back to Kansas City and my friends had went back to their lives. Reality set in quick.
Here I am, sitting in the hospital, post C-section, holding the most valuable, demanding, and delicate thing I had ever had in my possession. Alone. Every now and then the nurse would come in and ask me the same freakin’ questions over and over again like I had never, in all my life, even heard of such a thing as a baby. I was alone, unmarried, young, broke, and black and I didn’t need to be reminded of that with micro-aggressive and condescending questions.
I wanted to say, “No! You don’t understand. I’m in COLLEGE and my baby daddy was here just yesterday! He had to go back to Kansas City so he could go to WORK!” I didn’t bother. I didn’t have the energy to say it, let alone pull together a few clever phrases that would’ve helped the nurse check herself before she wrecked herself.
But there I was holding a baby, of all things, waiting on my friend Judea (Ju Ju) to pick us up and take us home. (They wouldn’t let me drive because of the C-Section. Plus I think my car was out of commission.) Ju Ju made sure we got in the house okay and then took off for class. As soon as the door closed behind her do you know what I did? Yep! You guessed it, I fell apart. I cried and Cried and CRIED. If there was a ever a time I wanted my Mamma it was right then! She wasn’t coming for me. Nobody was.
And then, about 5 days later this happened…in real life:
The phone buzzed. The text message came in from Canaan saying he had made it to Columbia. I grabbed Jai and ran upstairs to sit by the door like a sad puppy dog. Sure, my friends had stopped by all week to see us and bring us gifts but I needed to be around someone who understood–somebody who felt the weight of their own world and the weight of Jai’s world too.
Consciously and subconsciously I thought to myself, “Canaan is going to come help me! He is coming to see us because we are important to him.” I was so tired and so relieved that finally, somebody was really coming for ME!
I waited and waited. And waited some more! Where in the —– was he?! (Excuse my language, I wasn’t Saved back then.) Eventually, I gave up and went back to my room and got in the bed thinking, “He might still be coming, but he isn’t coming for ME.”
I heard the clanking of his ragedy car engine outside my window. I unlocked the front door and got back in the bed and turned off the lights. There would be no parade to welcome him into our home.
He strolled in a little confused but as calm and unassuming as a frog swimming in pot of cool water on a hot stove. It was all good. Until…
“Hey…” he said dropping his bag on the ground.
“Where the —- have you been?!” The words came out of my mouth hard and fast.
“I went to see my frat (as in fraternity brothers)…” Famous last words…Did this —– know what I had been through?!
I. WAS. LIVID!
Boy was THAT a night! Our crazy was turned all the way up and pretty much that entire weekend was a series of unnecessarily unfortunate events.
From Canaan’s perspective he was being responsible by going to see his boys first so that he could have uninterrupted time with me and Jai and I was being controlling and disrespectful, and infringing on his authority as a father. From my perspective, he was stupid, selfish, irresponsible, immature, and uncommitted to MY son.
Over the next 3 years these ideas were reinforced over and over and over again. And over and over and over again. It took me almost 5 years (and a great deal of spiritual and emotional work) to really understand some of the places that we went wrong. I definitely have not arrived yet but I have I learned a thing or five:
(1) Kids unlock places in your heart you didn’t previously know existed which makes sharing them HARD…as…well, you know! If the other parent is involved in your child’s life you all are fighting over prime real estate in your hearts. On the other hand, if they aren’t involved then you are appalled at their inability to see the great value in your most prized possession AND you know the deep pain that is inevitable in the life of the little person you are MOST desperate to protect.
(2) Between the two of us (parents) we have our own expectations that lead us down separate paths and we are both simultaneously trying to take our child(ren) with us. Kids don’t split down the middle. Ask King Solomon.
(3) You can’t control people–sucks, doesn’t it? (Sub-Point A) You can’t make them act right . (Sub Point B) Most of us can’t even make ourselves act right.
(4) There are a lot of GOOD reasons that people have a lot of BAD issues and nine out nine times BOTH of you all need to individually deal with the issues that started long before you hooked up.
(5) There’s a reason you all broke up or are struggling to stay together. Unless you have made a very intentional effort to get healthy (and stay healthy), those reasons have you swimming all up in your emotions…and most of us are literally drowning in them! And with the purest of intentions, we are dragging our children with us.
Stay Wonderful! 🙂
P.S.Be looking out for my post about how I dealt am dealing with all MY issues. Not Canaan’s.