A Decade of Dylan
I had been in love before you came along,Dylan. It wasn’t like I had no inclination of what it would be like. Throughout my pregnancy though, a handful of ‘already Mothers’ had told me, much to my irritation, that this love would be different. Stronger than I felt for my own parents, more intense than I felt for your Dad. They told me it would be all-consuming.
I nodded and smiled at them then rolled my eyes.
When you had been cooking away inside of me for 19 weeks, I decided it would be a great idea to spend a day hauling huge sacks of bricks from a wall we had knocked down in our new house. When I started bleeding a few hours later I felt a fear the like of which I’d never known. And guilt. Yep; the Mother’s guilt started before I even met you.
I remember phoning your treasured Nan on the way to the hospital crying inconsolably. Telling her I just wanted to fast forward time until you were here, so that I could finally stop worrying about you. Definitely in my ‘Top Ten Most Ludicrous Thoughts Of All Time’ that one.
Because you see the worry had just begun, hadn’t it. Little did I know I would spend the rest of my life trying desperately to push my worries to one side to allow you to have the full, exciting, adventure-filled life that you deserve.
You won’t have any concept of it now; maybe not until you’re an adult. I certainly had no concept of how much Nan loves me, until I had you. And that’s ok. But I hope one day you get to find out how it feels when all the sloppy song lyrics suddenly make sense. When ambition doesn’t so much fade as change. When envy disappears; because no matter what material things anybody has in this world; only you have this brilliant kid.
Anyway, back to those women who told me during my pregnancy, just how I was going to feel about you…
I hate to admit it; but they were dead right. It is different. For me anyway. The love I feel for you (and your brothers; before Jonah puts in a complaint to Social Services) is a whole different league. I’ve thought a lot over these past few weeks approaching your 10th birthday, about what it is that exalts this love above all others. And I think it’s as simple as this:
No matter how irritating you are, no matter how much you act like a total dick sometimes; I never seem to go off you.
I love your Dad. Loads. But sometimes we have epic arguments and I have to sleep in another bed because I can’t stand to hear him breathe. But you? You can be a major pain in the arse for days on end, yet I still come into your room on my way to bed each night and kiss your perfect face while you sleep. And I feel no simmering resentment, no anger. Ever.
I love my brother, your Uncle Jack; but his feet make me feel sick. Your feet will never make me feel sick. They will get gnarled and hard and stinky from all the football one day I know. But I will still think they are lush.
I love my parents, they’re the best. But I don’t get a physical flip in my stomach when I see them traipsing up the drive after an absence of only seven hours.
I love my friends. They are my soul’s salvation. But they can still occasionally say something that pisses me off and in some cases, sticks with me. Just the tiniest little thing that lodges, hurtful, deep within. You’ve said some mean things to me in your time (remember when you were 5 and you asked to go and live with your Nan pretty much every day?)… and I know there will be more mean things, more arguments, more complicated conflicts to come. But I know with certainty that I have the capacity to forgive you, all of you three boys, in a way I can’t forgive anyone else.
The pride I feel for you knows no end. I have to check myself so as not to be one of those braggy Mothers people hide from in the school yard. The care and love you show your brothers (on the occasions you’re not engaged in full mortal combat with them, that is), the way I feel watching you playing in goal, the smallest player on your team, stopping shot after shot, getting booted in the face left right and centre… well; I just think you’re something else kid.
So yes. There you have it. I pledge; to never ever go off you babe. It just isn’t possible.
You just keep doing your thing. Lash out when you need to, push the boundaries, try my patience. I ain’t going anywhere. The word those ladies never used but were describing, is unconditional. Unconditional love. And my quota of it is reserved just for you.