Dear Atticus, that kick

Dear Atticus,

At work, I am able to go with the flow fairly well, but the truth is that I need some time to absorb change. I didn’t feel deeply connected to you right away, and I struggled with that. At the time, I thought there was something wrong with me, but it is easier to look back and see how much everything changed at one time. Not to mention the fact that we were starting a new relationship and I needed time to get to know you. It is okay that we all needed some time to adjust.

While I was pregnant with you, I read something that said that I would eventually see you make a movement (probably a kick or a punch) that I would recognize from having felt it when you were in my belly. Because I didn’t feel a strong connection to you yet, I was skeptical about this. You kicked me a lot. How was I going to tell one of your kicks from another?

(When I say you kicked me a lot, I mean it. There was a particular spot where you kicked me pretty much every day. My midwife said it was a thin spot in my uterus, and it would stick out when I sat down at night. I was afraid to ask her if it was thin because you kept kicking me there or if you kept kicking me there because it was thin. Neither of those seemed like a good option.)


One night during bath time, I was splashing the water for you. You were just getting some control of your limbs, and you kicked the water hard and also made it splash. It surprised you, and you did it again. It surprised me, too, because I recognized it. That was the involuntary jerk that I had felt so many times. I knew that kick. That kick was mine.

I can look at many of my important relationships and see what it is that changed them into something bigger. A shared experience, an invitation, a confidence. One of our moments was that kick. It helped me to realize how much I already knew about you, how connected we already are. It gave me confidence as your parent. I had worried how long it might take for me to feel more like mothers are supposed to feel. And then, there it was: something that only I would recognize. It was life-giving to me.

You don’t splash like that in your bath anymore. Now all you want to do is pull up. Pull up on the side of the tub! Pull up on the soap dish! Pull up on the shiny handles and the spout! Splashing does not interest you. You don’t kick like that anymore, either. You have much better control of your limbs now. And I don’t need to see you kick like that these days. I feel much more secure in who we are together. But I am thankful that I got the message when I needed it.


No Trackbacks