Sometimes I still have to pinch myself because at times it’s so surreal to me that I’m actually a mommy. I have one beautiful little sparkle of a girl and another one on the way. It’s something I thought I would always want, until I reached adulthood, and then had a sudden insecurity about it. Would I make a good mother? I had absolutely zero experience with babies and was really uncertain of my capabilities to parent another human being. That’s a huge responsibility if you really think about what it all entails. But, once a year, on Mother’s Day, it’s a great time to reflect on myself and the choices I’ve made and how I’m choosing to live this life and what sorts of examples I am setting for my girls. The prior week had been filled with some heartache as I learned of two mamas going through the most excruciating pain a mother could ever go through. One dear mama lost her growing baby at 22 weeks of gestation. When I read her story, I cried with her. I wept for the life that was inside her and alive and whom she had to give birth to and only lived for 6 minutes on this earth before she had to say goodbye. I cried, knowing the pain she was feeling. I cried because I couldn’t help her. I cried because it wasn’t fair. And I cried with her in solidarity. We are all moms. The next day I learned of another dear mama who lost her only child, a boy of 4 years, full of life and spunk and bright red hair, so suddenly and tragically that I wept aloud and uncontrollably for the short life he had and how his mama was left behind. She was left to feel the full pain that no mother should ever feel….that of losing a child. I don’t know how she survived in the moments/hours/days after. My thoughts and heart are still with her. It made me go home and hug my girl hard. Very hard. I didn’t want to ever let go. The temper tantrum she threw that night made me hug her harder and love her more. Instead of reacting in exasperation I was thankful and patient and gave her even more love. I will gladly take all the rough days in the world with my precious and priceless daughter than have to experience even one iota of the pain either of those mamas are going through right now. As Mother’s Day came upon me this weekend, I thought of those two mamas and the pain that they must be enduring and I felt so humbled and blessed that I was able to celebrate and be happy with one daughter on my hip and one daughter in my belly. Even if my weekend held nothing out of the ordinary, I knew I was so lucky. So, so, so lucky. I hope that those mamas had a very strong support system to get them through. I wish I could have hugged them both.
Being a mommy has changed me in ways I didn’t even know possible. It has taught me selfless love, sacrifice, pure unadulterated joy, patience, kindness, and gentleness. Many of these qualities I did not have and struggled with for so much of my life. Two and a half years after having my first child, with another one on the way, I can say I am a completely different person than I was, and I am so thankful. My sparkle has taught me more and changed me in more ways in her short two and half years than I have been able to accomplish on my own in 31 (almost 32…gulp) years. I know the new little one on the way will continue my transformation and teach me even more than I can possibly imagine and for that, I will always be in debt and in gratitude to my babies.
To my sweet girls: You are my entire heart. All that I do in this life now is for you and for your well-being, but all that you both do for me is immeasurable and you may not quite understand all that you have provided for your Daddy and me, but one day I hope you will. I hope you will understand what your pureness and your innocence has accomplished. Because of you, your Daddy and I are undoubtedly better people and you have made this world a better place. So while Mother’s Day is typically a day to celebrate the mommy, I wanted to take some time to celebrate you. You who made me a mommy because without you there would be no mothers. I am so thankful and blessed by your existence and I’m hopeful for many, many more Mother’s Days with you girls. I love you both so much, it hurts (in a good way!).