From the very first holler of “Mummaaa!” coming from my little guy (who was already out of his crib and on the potty, thanks to his Daddy), to the way he cuddled up in a ball on my lap in shyness at our music class, and even to the way he ran away from me, giggling, when it was time to put socks on his feet…today was just one of those days when I was a bit more aware of the emotions of motherhood. I am talking, in particular, of the gushy, lovey, adoring, and oh-so-proud emotions. (As opposed to the exasperated or exhausted variety of feelings that we all face as parents daily as well.)
Sometimes, I forget that Simon is only 20 months old. The deep connection I have to this tiny person, and the awe I feel at all that he does, are just so tremendous. I get lost in the little details of our days together and I notice the seemingly tiniest of accomplishments. At times he seems more like a wise little old man, at others like my best friend. One minute he is cracking me up at his highly developed sense of humor, and the very next I am so flabbergasted at the stubbornness he is giving me, over the simplest request. (Can I get an ‘amen‘ from anyone who has ever tried getting a toddler dressed?) Surely this complex range of emotions, and the depth of them cannot be caused by so young a person?
There is an article being shared all over the internet right now, written by a fellow Mom, about her daily motherhood experiences. I read it a few days ago, and nodded in agreement, and even chuckled right along until I got to the part where she states that the greatest joy of motherhood for her, is not during the day when she is in the act of parenting, but rather at the end, when she looks back over her day and can say she ‘has parented’. As my eyes read over those particular words, I could practically hear a record screeching to a halt. This is not to say I did not get her point, or that I do not relate to what she, and the oodles of other moms who commented in agreement deal with on a daily basis…but the very idea that the best part is when it is over…that just feels wrong.
For me, the true joy of motherhood is when he is right there in front of me, holding his spoon over his eyes (because he truly believes if his eyes are covered, that I can’t see the rest of him) playing peekaboo. It is when he stacks four legos together and holds his creation up over his head and exclaims: “Tada!“. It is when he runs to me for comfort when scared, and nuzzles deep into my neck. It is also in the great big glob of drool that he wipes all over my mouth when he gives me a goodnight kiss. (Yes, even then.) The joy is in the moment itself, not after.
Sure, there are those days. The ones that just physically drain me and leave me feeling like I have nothing left at the end. And yes, I do enjoy rehashing the day’s ‘Simon highlights’ with my husband, and laughing about the ridiculousness of it all, good and bad. But those moments are more about the shared bond of parenting I have with my husband, than what motherhood is all about.
The Mother who wrote that article is annoyed when “older ladies” approach her in the store and remind her to “enjoy every moment”. I know how hard doing so can be. When the bills are overwhelming, the car is making an ominous noise, the weather is crummy, the house is a total disaster area, and a little person is trying to climb your face while whining in your ear…I’ve been there. It is not fun. But that is what those people in the grocery store are there for. To remind us to focus in…to tune out the things that won’t matter in a year’s time, and back onto one of the few things that will.