I'm in a good place these days. I love being a mom.
Some reasons why:
I walk into the bathroom and am greeted by a row of miniature care bears lined up on the table. I don't dare move them, as I know they are there for some very important reason. But the sight of them makes me smile. A 3 year old's imagination at work.
When I go to bed at night I pull back the covers to find no less than 10 stuffed animals (most of them care bears) tucked into MY bed. I make a mental note that before Makenna makes it into my room the next morning, I need to tuck them all back into my bed so I can assure her that yes, they all did have a good sleep.
I drop off my daughter at preschool and she runs to her favourite activity, never giving me a second thought. I know she is confident. Then 3 hrs later I go to pick her up and she runs at me full tilt, yells "MOMMY!" and wraps herself around my leg, all smiles. I know she still needs me.
As we sit doing "homework", my daughter gets frustrated becasue she can't seem to manage draw the number "3". After a time out, she calms herself and comes back to the table. This time she scrawls out that "3", and smiles ear to ear. She beams with pride. So do I.
I notice her one day, walk up to one of her friends who is taking a drink from the water fountain. She says to her "I'll see you tomorrow _______ and we can play some more". Rigt away she looked at me for approval. I didn't ask her to do any of it, or coach her on any of it. Simple words, a simple act, but coming from my little 3 year old, the mannerisms, the tone of her voice, so soft, so polite, so genuine, makes my heart ache with love. She was trying so hard to be a "big girl", to put it all together - the voice, the words, the manners. And it wasn't cute. It was more than that. It was beautiful.
My daughter gets her "progress report" from that same preschool, and I read that she is a born leader, a "delight".
When she's scared or nervous she says "I love you Mommy". A lot. She doesn't say this at any other time. I have learned to appreciate this and respect her way of reaching out.
I teach her how to make peach smoothies and she LOVES them. The process, just as much as the product. Ditto that for muffins, cupcakes, and any kind of baking.
My infant son absolutely lights up whenever he sees his sister. He has special smiles reserved just for her. His whole body vibrates when she pays attention to him.
As I type this, he lays on the floor, kicking and babbling away. I LOVE the babbling phase.
Every morning, between 4 and 5 am, my son and I have a date. The timing isn't ideal, but I love our time together. He nurses the best during this session, and afterwards he allows me to cradle him in my arms and rock him. This is the only time of day this quiet rocking occurs, and will be over soon enough. I have learned not to wish it away, and to just enjoy it while it lasts. And I do.
Later every morning, when I hear Jack babbling away in his crib and go in to get him up for the day, he gives me the biggest smiles. Full facial, whole body smiles. I know he's well rested and ready for whatever adventures today may bring. It wasn't always this way, and it was a bit of a bumpy road, as far as sleep was concerned, but we made it to this point, and it was ALL worth it. Those huge smiles first thing in the morning always start my day off right.
I love my life. I love the ages my kids are at. Both are discovering the world, in different ways. Both are discovering their worlds are bigger than "mommy". Both are gaining independence. But both still need me. I am still the most important person in both of their lives, on different levels.
The smiles of each of these children can bring tears to my eyes. Their tears can bring me to tears. Their giggles wash away my troubles. We've only just begun our journies together, but I know.
This is what I was meant to do.
This is what life is all about.