Ma, Trust Me
By Kimberly Hall
I remember the first time I saw my baby boy’s face. I couldn’t believe someone so perfect could be my son. I remember looking at him in amazement thinking, Wow. Did this seven-pound, four-ounce human being really come from my body? His hands and feet were so tiny. His eyes were so bright. His smile lit up the delivery room. I couldn’t believe I was this person’s mother, and I was responsible for his wellbeing. To be honest, I was scared stiff.
At age twenty-three, I hadn’t the faintest idea what I was doing, so my strategy was simply, “Keep him alive!” (You may be laughing, but it’s the truth!) I remember one night when he was four months old. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. He was crying uncontrollably. I fed him, burped him, walked him, rocked him, and checked his diaper (it was dry). For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. As he screamed at the top of his lungs, I reached my breaking point. I started crying too! After a few minutes, he stopped crying and looked at me with his big, bright eyes full of tears. I’m not sure if it was my lack of sleep or my imagination, but I could have sworn he hugged me tight before he laid his head on my shoulder and fell asleep. That night, I knew . . . we would be okay. I whispered in his ear, “I will love you, take care of you, and keep you alive.” I’ve kept all of those promises.
Over the years, I’ve watched my son grow into a fine young man. I often think about the simplicity of the promises I made to him when he was four months old. How I wish my promises to him were still that simple! During his college years, we had some rough spots. I wanted to control his every move, while he was fighting to gain independence and chart his own course. I’ve always wanted him to reach for the stars, think limitlessly, and pursue his heart’s desires. Unfortunately, I pushed my strategies on how to meet his goals as the only viable strategies. Finally, one day, my son looked me in the face and said, “Ma, trust me: I got this!” At that moment, our relationship changed for the better. I fell back and let him grow into the man he was destined to be. I couldn’t be more proud of him.
Yesterday is a day I will always remember. As I attended my son’s white coat ceremony, I looked at him the same way I did twenty-six years ago. He’s taller than I am now, and his fingers and feet are much longer than mine, but his eyes are still bright as ever and they still brighten up my life. I wanted to jump up and down and scream, “That’s my son, the future Veterinarian!” I couldn’t be more proud of his hard work and determination to meet his lifelong dream. As he walked across the room, I couldn’t help but smile and think of him saying, “Ma, trust me: I got this!”