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Mother’s Day: 7,927 days of joy

May 6, 2010

(This post for my children. Let no moment of love go unspoken.)

     This Mother’s Day I will have been a mother for exactly 7,927 days. Nearly 22 years. My babies are the sun that shines. They have been the greatest gift in my life.  How blessed I am.

My children are 21, 17 and 4 years old. This week Helen and Tommy turn 18 and 5, respectively. As Alex and Helen blossom into the adults that they were always meant to be, I’m becoming so sentimental. Weepy, really. It is exciting for me, as a mother, to listen to them talk about their dreams. They aspire to do many things. They really are beautiful people from the inside out. Yet, where did time go? I’m always trying to get past a point in time, just hoping for more time. A moment ago they were toothless.

At this point, I’m ready for them to be responsible and engaged in their lives, but I am not ready for them to grow up and become adults. It’s a weird place. I feel a little empty nest syndrome rolling in, even though I still have a toddler at home.

My mother laughs. At 89 with nine children and 21 grandchildren, she has seen it all. “You just wait,” she says. “Wait until they’re too busy to make time for you or return your calls. It could be months. Brace yourself, Mary.”

That’s a horrible thought.

Before life takes control of my children’s schedule, I want to list 22 or so things I absolutely love about being a mother.

  1.   I love that each dream I had about having each of you came true. I knew when you were on your way.
  2.   Learning I was pregnant. That single moment when the news hits and I realized that I am creating life, a life I am honored to give. For a moment I was suddenly and equally filled with joy and fear. I instantly wanted to eat a healthier diet. I wanted to be better than who I was just yesterday.
  3.   Imagining what your life might be like. For the next 22 years I’ve tried to help you imagine what your life will be like.
  4.   The moment you first moved inside of me. The flutter of butterflies that rose from my belly and trickled right to my heart. It felt like I was being tickled from the inside. I’d giggle all day, imagining you playing on the floor surrounded by stuffed animals.
  5.   Rocking you to sleep while dancing to “Close Your Eyes” by James Taylor.
  6.   A little bit of Mom and a little bit of Dad.
  7.   The fact that you insist you’ll never be exactly like Mom or exactly like Dad. Learn from the best aspects of each of us and just be your own person.
  8.   Every stage of your life. Sometimes I want to squeeze you and make you be little again. I want to pick you up from where you fell asleep on the couch and carry your sweaty little head back up to bed. I want to bake cookies in the oven and attend a Girl Scout meeting. I love to watch you learn and discover again. Time doesn’t stop, even for pleading Moms. Today, I’m just as happy to sit down at the dining room table and have you chatter on about something new in your life. Tomorrow I will look forward to every single visit.
  9.   Kid Art
  10.   Baby teeth that fell out.
  11.   Your warm skinny hugs.
  12.   Every time you reach for my hand and lace your fingers around mine.
  13.   Post-it love notes.
  14.   Painted pasta necklaces at Mother’s Day
  15.   The way you look forward to Mommy-made treats in our Christmas morning routine: muffins, cookies, fruit and hot brewed coffee.
  16.   Every photo I ever took of you that captured you at that moment in time, no matter how ridiculous you looked (Remember Alex’s half-shaved black and purple hair, Helen’s stage makeup in her freshmen year. Tommy’s forced smile and closed I’m-not-posing-for-a-picture eyes.)
  17.   That you have each other. At times in your life you may be lonely, but you will never be alone.
  18.   Your first and middle names were chosen, because they had historical family significance. There’s a story with each and I love that your names tie us back to earlier beginnings.
  19.   The way you set up your toys. Cindy Lou, Louie, Effie, silky, Bitty Baby, Matchbox cars at the top of the stairs, Polly Pockets, 1,000 Beanie Babies, fresh crayons, Ipod accessories, Thomas the Tank Engine, and couch pillows.
  20.   Your imagination and creativity
  21.   The way you make your true friends matter.
  22.   I simply just love to look at you, stare at you and make a memory of every single line on your face.
  23.   The possibility that someday I might be a grandmother, who can see a little bit of you in the eyes of a baby that melts my heart all over again.
  24.   You playing with kittens, bunnies, puppies and carnival goldfish.
  25.   The way you fuss over your grandparents. Time is short. Call them.
  26.   Making your favorite meals.
  27.   The way you make me laugh. I appreciate your acceptance of me as a loud laugher, even if you can’t prevent it. Sometimes you even encourage it just to see me laugh and cry at the same time.
  28.   Your courage, especially during times of tragedy and trauma.
  29.   Alex’s writing
  30.   The way Helen sculpts everything from her artwork to hair to mile-high sandwiches.
  31.   Tommy’s sausage legs and his sneaky sense of boy humor.
  32.   The fact that I was lucky enough to be your mother.

Happy Mother’s Day, my babies. I love you more than sunshine. I love you more than the breath I take. I love you more than the heart that beats in me. You know I love you more than anything. Still.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mary Danielsen permalink
    May 10, 2010 12:39 pm

    33. I love the way you make each other laugh and be silly when you’re all together.

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