Yesterday was my first time being a mom myself on Mother’s Day. And you know what I decided it was like?
You know when you first get married, and you’re super conscious of the fact that you have a new last name? And that, despite that fact, sometimes, when you’re not thinking about it very carefully, your finger still looks for your old last name when asked to find yourself on an alphabetized list?
I decided that being a mom for me is like that right now–on the one hand, I’m constantly aware of it because it’s so new and all-consuming and exciting. On the other hand, I’m so not used to it that sometimes I catch myself thinking, “Oh yeah–I’m a mom now, too. I’ve joined the ranks.”
And it’s also kind of like how I felt on my mission–that at the beginning, I was just acting like a missionary but didn’t really feel quite like I was matching up with what the vision in my mind was of a Missionary with a capital M–I feel like I still need to experience a whole lot more of motherhood before I can feel like Mom with a capital M.
But with each blowout I wipe up, each 3 A.M. feeding, I’m getting a little closer 🙂
I will say this though–motherhood surprises me every day.
It surprises me how I can simultaneously rejoice at how many consecutive hours my baby has slept for while at the same time miss having her in my arms and trying to get her to smile.
It surprises me how much I think about her when I’m away from her, wondering how she’s doing.
It surprises me how in the middle of the night, even though I’m out of my mind with physical exhaustion and am trying to make sure I don’t drop her as we walk out to the living room together, I still have the presence of mind and the desire to smile and coo at her–despite the fact that she’s just woken me up for the third time in six hours.
It surprises me how natural the love comes–how this deep well within of nurturing and caring and protecting just bubbles over every time I look into Raven’s eyes. It was a type of love I wondered if I would ever feel, and a love that came up so naturally that I can almost not remember life without it.
I feel like I expected all this . . . but the real thing is so much more.
More than anything, perhaps, motherhood is teaching me daily to appreciate even more the two people who made my being a mother possible–my own mother, for giving me life and for teaching me the value and joy and worth of becoming a mother–and my husband, for helping me to create our beautiful daughter who is ours forever.
As I see the love in their eyes for Raven and for me, it’s like a part of me fills up that I didn’t even know was empty.
What a privilege to be a part of something so much bigger than myself.