Before I became a mother, I didn’t know…
- my children would be a house of mirrors, and I would live there, every day, every bad or good attitude reflected, every word repeated, every action imitated.
- I was forfeiting all rights to eating my food uninterrupted, drinking my tea while it is still hot.
- I have the innate ability to fix an awful, child-inflicted haircut.
- I would come to consider endless cooking and laundry on a loop as a privilege and a life work, an investment in healthy little bodies. I just had no idea how wearying it would be, nor how time consuming.
- that we would have couches with “accidental” pocket knife puncture wounds and stickers on walls and even occasional graffiti or scribbling in books. My children weren’t going to do those things.
- how rare unlimited bathroom time is. Nobody told me that as soon as the mother goes for a shower, all the children’s digestive urges will kick in.
- I would have to get up an hour earlier than my previously established early hour if I wanted some quietness for myself.
- how much I would relish the reading of books that rhyme, books illustrated in primary colors that have hidden Goldbugs, even books where I can figure out the whole plot in the first paragraph.
- that sometimes I would lock my bedroom door and sob, “God, I can’t do this! You know I am just messing it all up. Help me, for Jesus’ sake!” And then someone would knock on the door, “Mama?” And I would unlock it and step out into the fray again.
- that with every swelling new pregnancy, my heart would expand in welcome and celebration, and after the birth, there would be my heart, living and breathing outside of me.
A happy Mother’s Day to all of you who nurture others, whether you have given birth to them, or simply embraced their lives out of your own great store of love.