Friday, October 12, 2007

My New Best Friend

Imagine this.

You spend months and months (nearly a year!) anticipating the arrival of a dear friend. You think you know what kind of person this friend is - how they look, smell, feel, and behave. You feel like you already know them as well as a person can know another person and you cannot wait to finally be near them. You prepare yourself to meet them, you spend countless hours taking care of yourself so you can offer them the best opportunity to truly know you and to know the kind of life you wish for them to have.

After all this agonizing anticipation, the friend arrives with a few difficulties. You are finally face-to-face and your heart is full and happy despite any difficulties. Everyone around you can see that you and this friend belong together and everyone is so happy for you. You take the friend home and she opens her mouth to communicate with you and to your surprise she speaks a completely different language than you! At first the language barrier is cute and tolearble. Then that language is used only to express distress and frustration that you don't understand.
The friend is screaming in your face, sobbing, tears falling down her cheeks, wailing, flailing, and sobbing. You try everything to get her to calm down. You feed her, clean her, wipe away her tears, hold her close, and she just won't stop crying and screaming. You ask in plain english what the matter is and the friend simply replies in that same confusing language. Finally, in defeat, you begin to cry with her... and sob... and you even attempt the language even though you know it isn't even close. Not only do you not understand her language, but she doesn't understand yours either.

The moment your friend calms, you feel close to her again, like you understand her better than anyone else. You feel happy, content, and pleased with yourself. You tell her how happy you are and everyone sees this version of your relationship. Then everyone goes away, turns out the lights, goes to sleep, and your friend begins to cry and speak in the foreign language again. You start to feel like a failure all over again.

As you can imagine, this makes you wonder what all the anticipation was for. You begin to wonder why you ever thought you could be a good friend. You look at other people with friends like this and they seem to have figured it out. Your sleep is light and fretful and you never feel completely rested. You start to believe that everyone else is a better friend than you could ever be and your friend may have something wrong with them. You start to believe all kinds of things that aren't even remotely true about yourself.

So what do you do? This friend is here to stay and it seems as though they will never figure anything out. You can't leave them... you would never want to. You can't change who they are and you can't change who you are. No amount of deep breathing is going to heal you of your broken heart every time she cries. There are people who envy you for the thing you have- this friend. It's a very lonely feeling and a very hopeless situation. So you sleep nonetheless and
wake up to do it all over again.

But... even despite all the frustration and confusion, you still look at them and you know you could never love anything the way you love them. So, you take a deep breath, hold her close as she cries, and just pray to God that He will teach you the language by divine intervention. You kiss her on the cheek, tell her you love her, and hope for the best.

This is the life of a new mother. It isn't sweet or glamorous and it is exhausting and frustrating. I only hope that as time passes I can become the kind of friend she needs me to be.


1 comment:

Katie D-Dot said...

My mom stayed with me the week after Eirelyn was born. The day she left I remember watching her leave and I cried because I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. Suddenly I was all alone in this house with a child I was not fit to care for. As my mom drove away Eirelyn woke up and started screaming so I held her and cried harder. I kept saying " I can't do this". It wasn't that I didn't want to, I just didn't think I could. Every mom you will ever meet thinks exactly like you - they all have it together, what is wrong with me?

God has give you a beautiful (loud and stinky too!) baby girl and if you keep looking to Him, He's gonna give you all you need for that little one. You're gonna be an awesome mom, she's lucky to have you.