I’m not sure I’ve always wanted to be a mom. I don’t remember ever not wanting to be a mom, but I think it was the kind of thing that I was too scared to hope for. Like, if I wanted it and for whatever reason it didn’t happen that way I wouldn’t be disappointed. And then, I became a mom.
After making the decision to work online full time and be at home with Lincoln, I had to mourn part of myself that I was saying goodbye to. I never really envisioned being a career teacher and putting thirty years into the profession, but it seemingly had ended too soon and I really felt like God had designed me to be a teacher and to make an impact in that way. I couldn’t imagine leaving all of that to be just a mom.
Yet, at times it is so natural and instinctive that it’s hard to believe it hasn’t always been this way, and he hasn’t always been a part of me, an extension of my heart just walking around. Some parts come so naturally, like how I can tell what he is about to ask for without uttering a word (or whatever you want to call those sounds he makes). Or how I know when he’s about to sneeze, even when he’s in another room because there’s a long pause, followed by a sharp inhale and then another long pause and then– the sneeze. It’s almost identical to the way his dad sneezes. I speak his language, he (mostly) understands mine. We kiss each other and hold hands and go get groceries. We make up songs and play with trucks. We practice our manners and saying hello to people and the names of our body parts.
Now, we don’t always understand each other. I spent most of his early days demanding to know why he insisted on sleeping instead of eating (really though, I’d probably sleep given the choice today…) and now we have days where I might as well be speaking Spanish to him, because nothing I say or do is right. The spoon is wrong, the plate is wrong, the granola bar shouldn’t be in pieces and the eggs should be on my plate, the truck was supposed to be over there…. etcetera.
But, I can say definitively: this is my path. This is where I am supposed to be. I’m just a mom. I’m the lap, the arms, the snuggle, the snack provider. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted to be and I didn’t even know it. My arms are stronger than they’ve ever been. I’m braver than I’ve ever been. I’m a bit sleepier and squishier than I’ve ever been too, and it’s just right.