Sometimes, my child drives me nuts. She’s loud. She’s mouthy. She has no respect for rules or boundaries of any sort. She does weird things. She throws fits over insignificant things, like me not allowing her to carry around a sock full of marbles at daycare. She can be a royal pain in the ass.
In short, she’s just a tiny version of me. And, all told, that’s pretty awesome.
This may sound strange, but sometimes I forget she’s a tiny person who is just learning how to be an acceptable human being. I can be quick to get agitated at her behaviour and often find myself counting down to bedtime so I can get some peace and quiet.
Tonight, however, she’s lying beside me on the bed, watching some god-awful Youtube videos and I can’t help but be amazed at this little wonder. She’s getting so big so fast and is becoming more and more independent by the minute. She has her own thoughts and likes and dislikes. She’s a far cry from the helpless baby I brought home almost 3 years ago.
I forget that, too. Sometimes, those days seem to have been blotted out of my mind. I’m so focused on the moment that I can only see the rambunctious toddler before me. It’s like someone swapped out my precious infant for a big kid when I wasn’t looking…and somehow I didn’t even notice!
But tonight, I see the baby I cradled so lovingly in my arms through all those sleepless nights.
It started this morning with a picture my mom posted on Facebook. How I longed to hold that baby again!
After we took Almost-Husband back to work at the end of his lunch break, “Only You” by The Platters came on the radio and suddenly I was transported back to that time. I remembered singing this song to The Princess when she was brand new. “Only you can make this change in me, for it’s true, you are my destiny…” Those words had meant so much then, and my eyes teared up as I sang them again.
Although this is a song that is, most likely, meant to convey romantic love, it resonated so deeply with me as I experienced the insanely powerful love that a mother has for her child.
My life was a mess before she came along. She made me want to be a better person. She gave me a purpose.
Tonight, she is fiddling with my ear as I write this and I know she is tired. She has done this since she was a nursling and I know that one day she won’t rely on this soothing mechanism. The thought makes me a little sad, but it also fills me with an odd sort of joy. One day, she won’t need me so much. She may not even remember these little habits or the countless times I’ve comforted her in the last few years. But, as the years go by and these tiny moments add up, she’ll know, deep down in her soul, that I have always been–and will always be–there for her when she needs me.
She may not understand it now, but she really is the light of my life. In between all the yelling and time-outs and craziness that accompany our day-to-day life, there are these sweet moments and they make it all worthwhile. Each hug, each kiss, each “I love you”, every tickle fight and story time, every time she does something silly and makes me laugh…all these things mean more to me than anything else ever could. They are memories I’ll cherish forever.
For all the strife, motherhood has turned out to be the sweetest gig I could have hoped for.