The smile that could give way to the quiver of the lips and the smiling eyes belying the grief of a time gone by. I believe its more of a statement uttered in disbelief, of trying to still grasp how fast it all went then advice to still-young-parents.
I know those words will fall from my lips. Even in the days when its hard and I feel every sluggish minute wearing me down, I know, even then, that those words will haunt me.
Motherhood is a teeter-totter that's never able to balance right center, perfectly parallel to the ground and to the sky. It's that constant tug-of-war between meals, dishes sitting dirty, clothes that refuse to stay clean with stories read while lazily sitting against a stack of pillows and the littles on your lap, giggling over nothing and everything and swinging high just to see if your toes really can tickle the sky.
This mom thing is hard and it hurts. Why do so many people act like labor is the most painful part of motherhood? The true labor of any mom begins after that swaddled bundle has been placed in your arms. In a million ways and a million times, you will break right in two.
I know I will look back and remember more when my tongue cut sharp and sighs heavy with impatience were released but I hope . . . I pray they remember the "I love yous", reading long past bed-time and impromptu hide-n-seek more.
I hope they remember more when I let go and let them be.
I know I will look back and will be unable to comprehend how fast it really went. Wishing I could have had more. More ice cream melted over hands just so I could hold those small hands once more. More tickling just so I could I relish in the laughter that is light as air because the world hasn't weighed them down.
Motherhood is heavy and the weight of the responsibility can be terrifying and paralyzing. There are a million ways to mess up and break them right in two.
I want them to be smart and have friends. I want them to be kind and for life to be easy. But I know beauty can only be birthed from pain. And oh, how I want them to be beautiful people!
I want them to be the kind of beautiful that is kind even when everyone else is telling them its wrong.
I want them to give even when they are tired, weak, broken and penniless.
I want them to bleed with compassion but I know that you can only bleed only if you've been hurt.
More than any other prayer and hope is that they know how to drop to their knees with folded hands, look up and to trust God.
It breaks me . . . the weight . . . the responsibility, it breaks me in a million different ways. I know they will learn only by how we have lived. I hope they have witnessed that love isn't always a fairytale and sometimes . . . a lot of times, requires hard work. I hope they see two people who work together, live together and love together. I hope they witness that even with broken hearts of our own, we still care and that even when bone tired and financially poor, we still give.
Motherhood is hard and it hurts and the labor never ends and if we are doing it right as best we can, it hurts more, breaking us into a million pieces.
The miraculous thing about a Mother's heart . . . any heart . . . is that even when it's broken, it still continues to beat.
I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did - that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that - a parent's heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.