I have a few friends who are pregnant now with their first babies. There is something so thrilling about the first pregnancy. I suppose it's because it's all new. There is more energy and brain cells to put into contemplating the life change that is about to come. I remember in my first pregnancy, I touched my belly all the time, and felt I was "showing" much earlier than I really was. I tried really hard to listen to people's stories about becoming parents for the first time and use those stories to prepare myself. I thought that maybe the lack of sleep would be my biggest transition, and was curious how I would handle it. In the end though, the real surprise was not so much what happened in my life, but what happened to me. As soon as I saw my son's periwinkle body there awoke in me a monster that I had not been aware of. I had a keen sense that, if needed, I was capable of superhuman feats to protect my son. I KNEW that if there was a threat, without a blink, or even much effort, I could rip someone's head from their shoulders. I never anticipated the "Monster Mom" effect, and could hardly believe that something so potent could be fueled by a love so new and painful. All of a sudden, my heart was ripped from my chest, and tied to the wrist of this little being who was careless of it. My sense of protection is as much for him as for myself. If something happened to my children I would not continue to breath. I never could have anticipated how intrinsic to my life my children are.
I know now that the lack of sleep goes on for years after they have begun to "sleep through". The Monster always sleeps with one eye open. I wake now worrying and wondering if someone, tonight, is going to try to snatch them from their beds. I worry about their eating and activities. I know, all too keenly, that my sleep will never be what it once was. When they are teens, I will lay awake wondering if I am loving enough, or firm enough. I will ponder in the depths of the night what they are up to while at a sleep-over. The rest of my life will be deprived of the once energizing sleep, and will be energized instead by the Monster. The Monster itself is fueled by a bottomless pit of this new painful, potent, and powerful love. It is not the "love" of Huggies commercials in glowing white rooms, and adoring smiles (that's only a minor part.)No no, it is a dark and lurking, sometimes ugly love. A Monster love. It's the kind of love that only God could fill a mother with. So, I guess maybe God is a Monster Mom too. His dark and lurking Monster love weeps with us, and for us. He is obsessed enough to count our hairs, and catch our tears. He never slumbers, and He watches our every move day and night. The Monster Mom in me is comforted to know that, even if my super-powers are not enough to protect my children, they are guarded and watched by an even more powerful, and obsessive Monster God.