I know it’s not even close to a portrait, but I hate a blog post without a picture, so here it is. Taken with Collin’s iphone at lunch today. Both babes wanted to sit with their Momma so that left the three of us scrunched on one side of the booth. Goodness, I love them. This weekend has been so wonderful. We started at 8:00 am on Saturday and had a day FULL of fabulous Girly Girls sessions. So much fun! Can’t wait to share them here soon! And then today after church we spent the afternoon outside, Collin and I in the hammock, Mak and CB on bikes, swinging, climbing trees. And then we went on a family bike ride. I am SO blessed to be a mother to these two. And because I’m too tired to do a whole Mother’s Day post, I’m gonna take the easy way out and copy and paste my She Magazine article from this month here. I hope you all had a GREAT Mother’s Day!!
Motherhood. It’s the thing I have wanted since I was a little girl and learned that one day I would grow up and be able to join this club. It’s the thing that has rocked my world like nothing else. It absolutely defines me. I blog about it, facebook about it, discuss it, research it, and those two precious little beings that gave me the longed-for title of “Momma” are never far from the forefront of my thoughts. The best experiences I have had in life are directly related to being a Momma. So are the craziest of my experiences, though.
Yes, Crazy. More than anyone else, those two little lovelies that I birthed have the ability to push me to the brink of insanity. It started mere moments after my son was born and I got that “New Momma” insanity where I was constantly checking to make sure his tiny little chest was moving steadily up and down, proving that he was, in fact, still breathing. But sometimes I was a little too aggressive in my checking and would wake that precious newborn out of his sweet slumber, fueling the cycle of baby not sleeping leading to Momma not sleeping leading to more New Momma craziness. I know that if you have ever had a newborn you’ve been there because I’ve heard it from nearly every new mother I meet. It’s such a beautiful, exhausting thing.
Right now I am in the middle of the craziness that comes from mothering a three year old girl. Just yesterday the child nearly drove me to the edge. Everything that came out of that pretty little mouth all day long was in the form of a whine. Except when she was having a screaming hissy fit. And no amount of ignoring/discussing/punishing was stopping it. Looking back, my sweet girl was clearly exhausted, but in the midst of it I just knew I would lose my mind listening to her. I have to say that I was very happy when that 7:00 bedtime rolled around and I was able to enjoy several hours of silence, or at least no whining, with my husband on the couch before our bedtime came. But then before I crawled into bed myself at 11:00 I crept into her room. You know, to make sure she was still breathing because some things never change, no matter how old your baby is. And I saw her lying there with her sweet little “almost but not quite yet” four year old hands clutched around the “bundy wabbit” that her brother made for her when she was a brand new baby. And I smelled her intoxicatingly sweet “sleep” smell, and watched her eyelids flutter when I kissed her cheek and I knew without a doubt that there has never been and will never be a prettier girl than my Clara Beth. According to her Daddy and me, anyway.
Isn’t Motherhood a truly wonderful universal thing? Because I know that if you have a daughter then you too know that no prettier girl has ever been created than yours. And you too have more than likely been pushed to the edge by her crazy little girl ways. And you also know that the same feelings apply to noisy, dirty, impossibly sweet, rough and tumble little boys.
The reality of motherhood in no way resembles the visions I had of it when I would daydream about my future family as a younger girl. I’m not sure who I thought would put the laundry away or clean the kitchen and I definitely didn’t know that so much of my time would be occupied with mundane chores such as those. I don’t have any idea why I thought my kids would play blissfully together always, never disagreeing or being ugly to each other. The truth is, there are always dirty dishes in the sink. And laundry that needs to be folded and put away. And still more dirty laundry that needs to be done. Seriously, the laundry in itself is enough to make a good Momma lose her mind. And a lot of times the kids do play blissfully together. But there are a lot of times that they argue, too.
Motherhood is nothing like I expected it to be. It’s so different, but so much better than I could have ever imagined it. Even with the piles of laundry littering the floor. I never knew how a dirty weed with the roots still attached could be more beautiful than a dozen roses when it comes from the hand of my son. I didn’t know that seeing my baby girl’s curls bouncing in the sunlight would give me unexplainable joy or that coloring with the two of them would provide better entertainment than the latest blockbuster. I had no idea of the pain I would feel when they were hurting. Or disappointed. It’s a physical thing that literally hurts my bones and heart to the point that I think I will break.
I know that there is so much more joy and pain to come. Please, I’m not even close to the puberty years and from what I hear they make the tantrum phase look like a day at the beach. I know the tough times will come. But I know that the joy of loving my children will do nothing but grow bigger and stronger. In Ephesians 3:20 we see that the Lord is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine according to His power. I can think of no better application for this verse in my life than the way it relates to Motherhood. It is a beautiful thing and one that I look forward to seeing play out in the years to come.