Mother’s Day was quiet this year. Quiet because I had laryngitis and couldn’t speak in anything above a whisper. (So TK got a mother’s day gift too!) But don’t let the peace and quiet fool you…I was showered with the goodies only a mom to little ones gets to experience. Breakfast in bed with flowers, a brand new milk frother and some jammies from my mom, and the kinds of cards and hand drawn treasures that make you laugh and shed a few happy tears too. I LOVE Mother’s Day.
When I was little, my main life goals were to be a bride, and be a mom. I think we can all agree that the bride thing was a success, and then I was counting down until I could be called “Mommy” too. When Sam was born, it was everything I thought it would be. Ok, so the 4 hours and 5 minutes of PUSHING weren’t part of my plan, but I digress. I love seeing the photos from right after Sam was born, and remembering the picture in my mind of my little brown eyed, brown haired boy who was going to look just like me. Just after he was born, he was taken right to the isolette for an exam (meconium in the amniotic fluid) and it was TK who got the first look. ”What does he look like??” I called from the bed, and TK turned around, in stunned, teary-eyed disbelief and said, “He looks just like ME!” Well, so much for that little brunette…I was in love from the moment I laid eyes on that boy (who are we kidding, I was already in love). It was like the world shifted and started revolving around our little group. And as the doctor was stitching me up, he said, ”The next baby will come out much faster, now that Sam has plowed the way!” HAAA! What a fool!!! There would be no more babies!! Did you hear me say 4 hours and 5 minutes of PUSHING, internet??
And, of course, two and a half years later, it was a different hospital, in a different state, and where Sam had arrived 2 weeks early, we were 4 days late, waiting to be induced. Jane was stubborn to the core, and she hadn’t even been born yet. The little darling had to be EVICTED from my uterus. It was, however, a much easier birth–two pushes and Jane Louise and her cheeks were in my arms. Hopes for a little mini-me were dashed again as I looked into the face of a child who looked, not that I thought it was possible, even more like TK than Sam had. Two inches shorter and two ounces heavier than her brother, she was our little short stack of pancakes (I called her “short stack” for a good 6 months), she was pink and pretty, with the smallest nose on the planet. Life was, as the say, perfect.
The most defining moment of my life as a mom came later that day. Grams brought Sam to the hospital to meet his sister. Sam climbed into my lap, and with gentle curiosity, reached for Jane. He held her hands and stroked her cheeks (I’m telling you, internet, they were simply irresistible) and I felt complete. Tears of joy (I know, so surprising that I was weepy, right?) ran down my face, and I looked at my two children. I felt it all–the joy, the exhaustion, the fear, the elation, the knowledge that I had these two small humans to mold into happy healthy respectful people, and the heavy responsibility that that would entail, the knowledge that two pieces of my heart would forever walk outside of my body, the amazement of their complete, well, awesomeness, and love love love, so much love. I finally had all that I had ever wanted…my cup runneth over indeed.
There have been many many tests to my endurance as a mom. There have been days when I have wanted to crawl into a closet and hide, wanted to pull my hair out, when the screeching wail of “MOOOOOOOMMMYYYY” is almost too much to bear. I count the minutes until bedtime, count the number of days left before school starts again, serve peanut butter and fluff for lunch AND dinner. My star may be tarnished at times, that is for sure. But the days that matter most, the days when they are scared, or proud, or nervous, or excited, when they look to me for reassurance, to see my face beaming with pride, or joy in something that they do, that I hope they remember. I know it will be a blink, and they will have children of their own and I will become someone on the periphery of their own lives. And as long as they are happy and healthy, (and have college degrees, so help them) then I will take pride in the job I’ve done with them. And maybe I won’t cut them out of the will.
Today, though, and for a long while, I hope, I am MOM. I am the keeper of the cheerios, the driver and short order cook. I dispense points and bandaids, oversee homework and toothbrushing. I am the last word, the final say, the grande fromage. I am theirs, and they are mine. And though that umbilical cord was cut long ago, the invisible connection of mother and child keeps us tied together, connected, unbreaking.
On mother’s day, I pulled them close and hoarsely whispered how much I love them. And though they could barely hear it with their ears, it was loud and clear inside their hearts.
EDITED TO ADD: All photo credits but one belong to TK, who always knows the right time to take the camera into his own hands…the bottom right photo was taken by another amazing mom, my cousin Amy DiClemente!