The Day My Son Won the Snowstorm

About a month ago I posted a picture to Facebook of my attempt to prepare my son for the wintry world. He was only a few weeks old and I was so worried about the cold weather that I may have overestimated the number of layers needed to keep his tiny body warm. After looking at the picture, I realized that I had turned into the mother in A Christmas Story who bundles her son up so tightly that he resembles a marshmallow. The minute I put it up on Facebook dozens of friends either liked or commented on the silliness of the photo as well as their same predicament in overprotective parenting. Although, how overprotective can you be when your baby has only been in the world for a matter of weeks? I stand behind my protectiveness and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The funny side of the story is that an editor at Redbook Magazine had seen the photo in my feed and contacted me about running the picture on their website with the caption, “Adorably Bundled-Up Baby Wins the Snowstorm.” Of course they could!


How could you not photograph and share this image? But here’s the thing about new motherhood, especially in the digital age. The minute I hit “post” on this picture, I worried. Of course, it is in my nature to worry about pretty much everything, now add in a newborn baby and I’m a bit of a mess. But I worried about the comments, the critiques, the negative statements. They can range anywhere from, “I never post photos of my kids online,” to “Why would you put your child in that position, in those clothes, with that pacifier?” etc. It can be anything. Critics are everywhere. Normally, I can handle anything and let it gracefully roll off my back, but when you are a new mother (or a mother in general), your emotions change. You become fiercely protective and also abundantly vulnerable.

There is a famous quote by Elizabeth Stone that having child is to “decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body” and nothing could be more accurate. I’m quite literally obsessed with my son and it is both beautiful and terrifying. It’s a love I have never known before and one that I absolutely cherish. But I also want to share his life (and what I am profoundly learning from his life) with others. I want to be the voice I was looking for when I found out I was pregnant, when I found out I was having a boy (panic!), when I delivered my son (36 hours of crippling contractions) and when I started thinking about when I was ready for more babies (about one minute after looking at his face – it’s true what they say about Mommy Amnesia). I’m a writer. The best way for me to understand my life, my world, my thoughts and my feelings is to write it out. Never before have my words felt so important and so heavily weighted in my heart. My son changed my life, he made me braver, he made me a mother and maybe, quite possibly, he’s made me a writer. So I’m going to start sharing my thoughts, feelings, lessons learned here in this online space. Yes I’m opening myself up to criticism and comments. But I’m also putting myself and my thoughts out there and maybe helping another young, confused, scared, lost mother at the same time. I’m documenting my life and my son’s life. I’m writing it out and therefore trusting my thoughts and words to express such a significant and sacred part of my life. To me, that seems much more important in the long run than any criticism I could ever receive. Yes, my heart is walking around outside of my body but hopefully he’ll be doing it in something ridiculously adorable.

photo-6Because I am keeping in mind the fact that I always want details from other mothers (specific details), I got this Teddy Bear Snowsuit at OldNavy. Their prices are fantastic for baby clothes. The speed with which children grow out of their clothing is unbelievably fast and not very conducive to spending a lot. For example, Grayson wore this pale blue Teddy Bear Snowsuit approximately two times. But at least I documented it so it can live on forever. That’s $15 well spent in my estimation.