These two little words can conjure up feelings of ire, fear or elation. Isn’t it amazing how powerful language can be given the circumstances in which it’s used. Let’s examine:
– “I’m late. . . for work. A raccoon bit my tire and I spun out of control and ended up in the ditch!” Yeah, whatever. More than one of these excuses and you may not have a “work” to be late for.
– “I’m late. . . for my wedding.” There better be a darn good excuse for this one. The bride or groom, whichever is left waiting at the altar, will have feelings of fear and rejection and probably some anger, too.
– AND NOW THE BIG ONE: “I’m LATE. My red headed step-sister has not come to visit for a month.”
Now, depending on your stage of life and whether or not this was a “planned” occurrence this can be shocking news. For instance, when I got pregnant three years ago my husband did not speak to me for 2 weeks he was in such shock. I didn’t really have the luxury of shock with all the morning sickness. I just came to the realization that I was carrying a life that I would have to mold and care for, for the rest of my life. Then the fear set in, “Am I good enough to be a mother?”. I remember the day I heard her heartbeat for the first time. I balled like a baby. The excitement I felt when I felt her first kick – 2 days before our fifth anniversary – I couldn’t have asked for a better gift.
The day I gave birth amidst the pain, I remember saying to her, “Hi, there baby girl.” I felt relief that she was out and that she was OK (her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck). It took me some time though to get attached to her. My mom and my brother noticed something wasn’t quite right. He thought it was just that I was not made to be a mother; that kind of hurt. It wasn’t until months later that I was able to express my feelings at the time. I was a mother, but I wasn’t yet “mommy”. I felt an obligation to keep my child alive, feed her, clothe her, etc., but I did not feel what I would call “love”. That at first made me feel like a horrible person.
The more research I did I realized that this feeling or lack thereof was normal and a common symptom of post partum depression. It took probably a month or two of sleepless nights and nursing and cuddling and watching her absorb everything around her that I learned to love the little creature that had been entrusted to me. Strangely, I didn’t feel the full effects of post partum depression until after she was weaned at about 15 months. When I realized she did not need me in that personal way I became very sad; I cried for weeks. I’d never felt anything like this before. I guess you could say I was a little late in a couple of ways.
Now Yeyda is the light of my life. My worst frustration right now is potty training. She knows what the potty is and how to use it. She knows how uncomfortable it feels to sit in your own pee or poop and how nasty it smells. Somehow, though, she still hasn’t grasped that it is more important to go to the bathroom than to even keep eating. Well, I guess she’s just a little late 🙂.