For my babies

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Suddenly, I am a mother.

I call the shots, make the grocery list, say “no” to Chicklets at the checkout counter.  I am a mother.

For lunch I eat whole wheat bread crusts with the shape of a dinosaur missing.  I peel mandarins and pull each section apart, even peel the pale fibers off so you’ll like it better.  And then I find little orange segments in the toy baskets, squished under my feet before I sweep.  I am a mother.

I pat your soft bottom 273 times as I stare at your eyelids, which swing open and closed and open and closed until you give up.  I want to sleep, but do laundry instead.  I am a mother.

I pray on Wednesday that the trash truck will come while we’re home the next day, because Thursday is trash day and you’ve waited for it all week long.  When I hear the sound of bagged garbage hitting metal, I grab your hand and we run for the door.  I am as excited as you are.  We sit on the grass and watch until the flashing lights round the corner.  I am a mother.

I practice animal sounds, leave dough on the spoon for you, make pizza because you finally figured out how to ask for it.  And then I realize later you meant “pretzel.” (Oh well.)  I am a mother.

I say, “What do you say?” and wait for your “thank you.”  I can’t teach gratitude but I can teach you manners.  I am a mother.

I brush little teeth, tie little shoes, make little beds, encourage big dreams.  I clap when you push off the edge and go down the slide.  I am a mother.

I write your name on the card even though you’ve never seen what’s inside (and I spent thirty minutes staring at tea sets and pet shops and little ponies trying to understand what a 3-year-old might be wishing for her birthday).  I am a mother.

I bake 45 cupcakes, wipe baseboards, twist streamers, blow balloons, invite chaos.  I tell myself I’ll do less next year, but I won’t.  I might even do more.  Because it’s me trying to write “I love you,” in the biggest font possible.  I am a mother.

I cried when I saw that an entire human had emerged from my body.  Not just a dream I had dreamed while resting my hand on the smooth arch of my own body.  You were separate, terrifying.  A crying baby.  My crying baby.  I said to my own mother, next to me,  “I can’t do this!”  Because I felt it already, as soon as I saw you.  I knew you would wreck me.  Had already wrecked me.  I didn’t belong to myself anymore.  I was a mother, your mother.

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One thought on “For my babies

  1. I love that you write a blog, and I love reading it. I wanted to say how much it hurt to see David’s dad holding Judah’s hand and watching the garbage truck. I am VERY happy he could do this with Judah, but it hurt so much that I can’t. I love watching trains, garbage trucks and heavy machinery. I so wish I could share the joy of watching them with Judah. I miss not being a part of my grandchildren’s lives. Maybe someday we will be able to share some time together and Judah and Sarala can get to know their “other” grandpa, and their amazing Nana. We are SO glad to be able to do what we do, but there are costs too. Being away from you all is a heavy one for us.

    I love you.

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