Soul Doubt: My Sweet-Smelling Clean Slate of a Son

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My Sweet-Smelling Clean Slate of a Son

I just went in to check on Jameson, something I do quite often now that he sleeps in his own room on the other side of the house, and ending up standing there for the better part of an hour, I think, lost in thought while I gazed down at this amazing little being my husband and I (with a whole lotta help from you-know-Who) created.

Not only is the creation itself such a miraculous process, one I remember marveling at continuously throughout my pregnancy as I caressed my swelling midsection with one hand and scrolled through page after page of gestational information with the other, obsessed with what the little guy was up to at any given moment throughout those trimesters... not only that, or as the living miracle continues to grow, and mature, and amaze me- but the awesome weight of responsibility for this child is beginning to settle upon my shoulders, bringing with it a whole new set of wonders and worries and joy.

It's a welcome weight, to be sure- one I'd wished for often for perhaps a decade or so; especially when I was in the depths of addiction and despair, I'd think, "If only I could have a baby, I know that would solve all my problems. That would straighten me up, give me something to live right for." And the ironic thing is, I had given up hope for the magical event to occur, and ended up straightening up on my own, the only way possible: with hard work, devotion and dedication. Only then, after a couple years of clearing away the wreckage of my past and slowly beginning to rebuild a sweeter, simpler life for Tony and myself, only then were we blessed with the amazing news that at the age of thirty I was finally pregnant. God knew when we were ready.

So back to what I was contemplating so deeply earlier this evening as I stared down at the downy fuzz on my son's perfectly molded skull: the duty I have as this boy's mother to raise him right; to instill in him both integrity and morality, and to show him the love and respect he'll need to be able to believe in himself, hold those values close and therefore be able to show love and respect to others; to provide him with whatever he needs to become whatever he wants to be, wherever he wants or needs to go, whomever he's destined to become.

Wow. I can't believe how cavalierly some people can be about the responsibilities of parenthood, how some women just pop out kid after kid, doing nothing except spending the welfare check on crack and farming their offspring out to first Grandma and Grandpa, and once they can't or won't take care of them anymore, allowing the State to step in and take their babies away, not even putting up a half-hearted fight, just signing their rights away and never looking back. I mean, I've met a lot of these women, usually in jail, who speak so casually about the whole thing it just turns my stomach. I know a lot of it is that they're under the spell of whatever their drug of choice is so thoroughly that whatever love they have for their kids has been drowned along with their self-respect, but c'mon! What about maternal instinct, that awesome force we hear about that causes 105 pound women to lift 2 tons of wrecked car off their child in order to save its life, or single mothers who work double shifts and attend college at night just so their babies won't ever have to do the same... I just don't get it. Or rather, they just don't get it.
The power of love has to be stronger than the power of addiction. I wish I could explain to these poor lost women, these failed mothers, that with determination and God's help, they can straighten up. They've been blessed with motherhood, an awesome power that can give them the strength to move mountains if they only let it. They need to succeed and get their babies back, and in doing so, will end up giving themselves something to succeed for. Instead of the vicious circle of addiction, they will have a wonderful one of love and success.

I think my son and all that comes with him has done so much for my self-esteem, my relationship with Christ, my character in general... I couldn't even fathom trading all of that for the sick, twisted world of dope. There's just no way. The jolt of love I feel when I look down at this innocent, sweet-smelling precious child, and this piece of chalk I'm holding which will be used to mark his clean slate, what powerful, wonderful tools in which to navigate the path of parenthood. How incredibly sad that there are other mothers out there who don't or can't feel the same.


  1. Thanks Kendra, it means a lot to me to hear that from someone. Ironic, because I often feel like my faith is contrived, fake, depthless in the face of those who know me. I wish you the best as well as you learn and grow from your son! He's really cute :), reading your post gives me assurance that God really is faithful, and he really does watch us, so closely.

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Thanks for taking the time to read what I ramble about- I consider it an honor to get feedback from you guys, so please tell me what you think, feel, if you have a similar story... whatever you'd like! Thanks again and God bless.