Happy Mother’s Day

7 May

I am writing this post from a chair in my daughter’s room. I am waiting for her to fall asleep. She is dangling her stuffed penguin – who wears a scarf and hat to keep warm – over the bed rail, pretending she is Rapunzel and the penguin’s scarf is her hair. We watched “Tangled” tonight for the first time as a family, the baby dozing on and off in my arms, my daughter asking a million questions in between attempts to leap over the baby and me and launch herself onto Daddy’s lap.

After the movie and before coming up to her room, I picked up a crate full of train tracks, stepped on a plastic swordfish, watched the baby chew on his fingers and spit up simultaneously, collected all of the wardrobe changes from the living room floor, and changed a diaper.

Motherhood is nothing like I expected it to be. It is far less glamorous.

Motherhood is infinitely harder than I thought it would be.

Motherhood can get a lot uglier than I ever imagined it would be. The bodily functions, the sleep deprivation, the tantrums, the grief and frustration.

But there is beauty in motherhood – such raw beauty.

A screaming, red-faced newborn being held by his overwhelmed, terrified and elated mom.

Impossibly tiny fingernails and impossibly long eyelashes.

Those eyelashes fluttering as baby sleeps at her mother’s breast.

First, second, third and 283rd smiles, each one more contagious than the last.

Giggles, then laughter. So many giggles and so much laughter.

Soft snuggles, stories, kisses on damp heads after bath time.

Pride. Joy. Worry. And love. So so much love. Love that hurts. And underneath it all this fear that life will try to take your babies away. You imagine every scenario, every disaster, and you hurt just imagining it. Because your babies and your heart, they’re the same thing. They can never be separated.

I am honored to be a mother. I am proud of my children and the work I do in raising them. I feel joy when I see their faces. I kiss them so often that I don’t bother wearing lipstick.

That gorgeous little girl of mine with the Rapunzel hair, she’s asleep now. Those impossibly long eyelashes cast a shadow across her cheek. I want to kiss her even now but I want her to sleep more. The baby is sleeping too. I don’t know which clothes on the bedroom floor are clean and which are dirty. There are dishes in the sink and we desperately need to wash diapers in the morning. And it is anyone’s guess how many times I will be woken up tonight.

Motherhood is infinitely harder than I thought it would be.

And it’s so beautiful.

Mom, I love you.


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