Monday, December 10, 2012

Mothering Moments - Breathless

Through the years,  I have held many titles, daughter, niece, honey, sweetie, wife, florist, nurse, secretary, friend, teacher.  But the title that has given me the most pleasure has been the simple one called "Mom".

No other position has so confounded, perplexed, or confused me while at the same time infused me with joy, pride, and MUCH laughter.  Nothing else has made my heart sing while it wept.  Never have I thought myself capable of such love, and I have yet to find another challenge that has been so worth the effort.

A brand new person enters the family and changes the dynamic forever.  You find that you have stretched your heart to include the presence of another.  In those first years, you're absorbed with the details of life.  Is the baby dry, fed, warm?  Should they be trying to stand before they can sit?  Where did they learn to do this?  Will they ever learn to talk, walk, eat without the need to slip cover the entire dining room?

Is is said that being a mother is like having your heart walk outside of your body.
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone
Nothing ever prepares you for that swift surge of maternal emotion that grips you so tightly you struggle to breathe.   Those moments so unexpected and precious that take our breath away, but they become etched into the photo album of our hearts.  The way their lips pursed in their sleep.  The way their heads smelled after their evening bath.  The morning she slept through the night for the first time.  That first smile, the quiet time snuggle or the toothless grin coated with the remnants of lunch.  The long walk into the first day of school, the year they starred in the school play, watching them offer kindness to another.  It comes at such a sudden rate of speed that you blink and startle at the impact as it slams through your heart.

I assure you that despite the length and exhaustion of those first years, like everyone in your life has said, they are over in a blink of an eye.  I cannot impress upon you how important it is to cherish each stage of your children's lives.  Seemingly overnight, you will find yourself looking back.  You now have memories of the last time they nursed, the last Binky (we called it Pacie), the last diaper, the last time they crawled into your lap for a snuggle, the last time they asked to sleep in your bed.  And you will wish you had paid more attention to that last moment.

It is all to easy to get caught up in the business of today and forget that the business of mothering is just for a season.  You will be a mother for the rest of your life, regardless of the path your children walk.  Along the way, there will be multiples of moments that will take your breath away.  Stop and savor each one.

Your job along the way will change, your position will not.

You are "Mom."

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