When I was in elementary school, I remember being asked (probably once each year), “Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? 10? 20?” And it’s funny because I think I almost always said, “Married with children.”
Fast forward to high school and thinking about what I “wanted” to be when I grew up. At one time I wanted to be a marine biologist because I loved dolphins. I wanted to be a lawyer because someone told me that I was good at arguing (I think that was one of my parents … or both!). I ended up eventually getting my degree in Sociology which was admittedly, the easiest degree for me to obtain with my transfer credits, etc. Hey, I never said I liked school!
But the entire time — ever since I can remember — I always knew that I wanted to be a mom. I wanted 7 children at one point in my naive life! (That was before I knew anything about how babies were born, and things like finances.)
And here I am today: married and a mommy. I guess you can say I got everything I wished for. And more.
Becoming a mom has made my perspective and level of respect for moms all around the world — and most especially my own mom — escalate by the millions. I get it now. I understand what it means to completely sacrifice yourself and your time for one other being. I understand what it means to love someone that relies on you for their very existence so much that it hurts inside. I understand how life changing becoming a parent can be.
I think back to the days when my little sister and I would cause so much trouble for our parents: wrestling on the ground in public places; hiding in circular clothing racks and jumping out at each other to scare the bejeezus out of each other only realizing that oh no! that’s not my sister!; and unbuckling our seat belts once we got past the security gates on the Air Force base to beat each other up in the backseat which resulted in a ticket for our poor mom. I cringe to think of how much our parents must’ve thought that we appreciated them.
I think about being a mom now while our little one is almost six months old. Only six months! And yet we’ve learned so much along the way in her little life already. Her hunger cues. Her favorite toys. That she laughs and smiles every time I sing and do “Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes” with her. All these little things that I’m so afraid we’re going to forget about as she gets older.
But the one thing that I will cherish the most is that feeling of her falling asleep in my arms. All that trust that she puts in us to keep her in a safe place. I love that feeling of complete relaxation and rest that we see in her closed eyelids, pursed lips, and tiny breathing nose. I love how everything about her goes limp as she succumbs to slumber. And mostly, I love holding her hand while she snoozes.
I know there will be a day where she will think I’m the most embarrassing person to be around. When she won’t want me to walk her to school anymore. Where she will probably say something like, “You’re ruining my life, mom!” So for now I will cherish these little peaceful moments with her while I can, and praise all the mothers out there for doing what some people (like me!) might consider the toughest job in the world.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms of both yesterday and today! This is my first Mother’s Day and I look forward to a hundred more. 🙂