On Being a Mother

Last night my son woke up in the middle of the night, crying. I had only just fallen to sleep, but came out of it pretty quick especially since my being able to sleep at night has almost entirely been replaced with a feeling of restlessness as I wait for him to need me. I went into his room, took hold of him in my arms and sat on the rocking chair that helps lull him into a state of comfort. Almost immediately he went back to sleep. I looked at him while I caressed his cheek: the curve of his nose, the swoop of hair that is his bangs, his full lips which so often bear a welcoming smile, the way his arm curves around my back as I rock him. I start to tear up because for the life of me I still cannot understand how God can love me so much that he would let me be a mother to this sweet boy. I start to pray for him, asking God to bless our boy immensely- to take care of him in the ways that I can't- and to make his life rich with meaningful experiences and for him to feel loved, always. I thank God for bringing him into our lives, for designing a plan that involved us as his parents and for trusting us with his precious life. I kiss his forehead, I gently place him back in his crib, I stroke his cheek one more time and I whisper to him that I love him. I tiptoe back into my room, into my bed and wait to see if he'll need me again that night. A "mommy" follows an hour later and I feel proud- he needs me and I want to be there for him.

Two weeks ago my soon pooped on the floor. I had the brilliant idea of taking off his diaper and letting his "junk" air out. I took my eyes off of him for only seconds (don't all dramatic stories that involve children start with this sentiment?) and he had already managed to poop on the floor, and began wiggling his toes and fingers in it. I yelled for my husband to help, as I often do during times of excrement. We tagged team this situation- he cleaned the poop which had now been painted into the carpet, and I took the feces covered child to the bathroom. He curled his little poop covered legs around me and giggled while he smeared it on to my face: his fingers the brush, the poop his paint, my face his canvas. I turned on the water, gagged through the peeling off of his soiled clothing and breathed a sigh of relief when he finally entered the bubble filled bath, "BUBBLES!" he exclaimed excitedly. I listen to my husband cussing in the background knowing that his job of cleaning the carpets would last much longer than wrangling our child "artist".

Being a mother is accepting that your role is a paradox: In order to experience how wonderful it is to be needed and to be able to want to selflessly give, you must also be occasionally knee dip in crap. Because being a mother is wanting everything that your child can offer you: the hugs, the kisses, the tantrums, the formula spit up on your new blouse (or for those who breast feed- the drippy nipples). Being a mother is relishing in every moment, immersing yourself so far into your child(rens) precious lives that you don't know who you are without them and you don't want to be the person you would be without them, or before you had them.

What a gift it is to be a mother. Being a mother means having the opportunity to know how much God loves us; because although it seems like we can`t love our children more than we already do, He loves us that much more. And this love is unconditional, even during the times when it seems gross, unfathomable, undeserved, or difficult. I was designed to love this child: just like God designed me to be loved by Him. Me being a mother is possible only because God loved me first. How lucky am I?