My kids’ mom

28 Nov

Nolan was born to a mommy who was very, very different than the mommy Tessa was born to.

I feel like Nolan got the short end of the stick. I didn’t yet understand the cruelty of the passage of time, how instead of worrying about his feeding schedule and naps, I should have been memorizing his little face, taking time to soak it all in, imprinting those moments in my memory. I was also wrapped up in my grief and crying a lot, and constantly anxious. I was struggling to balance my happiness with the pain I was feeling and it was … hard, to say the least.

Tessa has a much more relaxed mommy, one who knows that it’s okay if her outfit doesn’t match everyday, as long as it meant we stole the time for one more minute of cuddling. I take the time to stare at her, to try to figure out what kind of person she is going to be, to talk to her about our day, to interact with her, rather than trying to anticipate every upcoming problem. I’ve worked on myself a lot in the years since I had Nolan – I’m in a much better space mentally and it shows in the way I interact with my family.

But no matter my shortcomings, with both of my children, I was given the blessing of just the type of child I needed at that time in my life. In Nolan I was given a child who loves so fiercely that you feel as though he gives a little piece of his beautiful heart to you with every hug and kiss. He is forgiving and accommodating (at least as accommodating as a young child can be) and wants nothing more than everyone around him to be happy. He makes everyone who meets him laugh and has a mind like a steel trap.

Simply by coming into this world he saved me from myself. He allowed me to make mistakes, to be sad, to worry… but with the ferocity of his love and his gorgeous smile, he was able to pick me up, dust me off, and push me to carry on. He is an old soul, who seems to understand when I am sad and need a hug. When I cry, he rubs my arm and tells me “It’s okay Mommy, don’t be sad.” He healed me, and he is the reason I pushed myself so hard to overcome my grief and depression.

In Tessa, I was given a child that embodies the traits that I feel I am lacking.  She is a girl who knows what she wants. She loves to be cuddled and she likes her binky. She doesn’t throw a fit unless fit-throwing is called for, but watch out if she decides it’s time. Nothing deters her from accomplishing her goal – we always joke that she is either going to rule the world or end up in lots of trouble. She is showing me what it means to be your own woman.

As hard as I have worked to make myself better, I still struggle with figuring out who I am and what I’m supposed to do with myself. Tessa is showing me that the lesson I want her to learn most of all – to be comfortable and proud of who she is – she is already learning. She isn’t afraid to ask for what she wants and doesn’t let up until she gets it. I am so thankful that she has such a strong, forceful will about her.

As much as every mommy in the world says it, I wish I could stop time right here. I wish I could guarantee that I will never forget a moment of their childhood. I wish I could bottle up the way they smell, save the softness of their skin and the chubbiness of their cheeks. I want to record every giggle, every sloppy kiss, the hilarity of a toddler’s excitement for the world. I wish I could memorize every change in their face, and remember how they looked every day of their lives.

Parenting is such a Catch-22. For every moment of joy there also comes a profound sadness, because you know that moment is fleeting. It will be gone soon, a wisp of a memory that 20 years from now you may not be able to recreate. Of course every moment of joy makes way for another, but there is something to be said for all the lost moments, all the things we can never get back.

I can’t articulate how full my heart is, how grateful I am for my two babies. I wish there was a way for them to understand how much I love them, how they have made me better, how if I didn’t have them, I would be a shell of the person I am today. I will never be able to make them understand, at least until they are parents themselves, what they have meant to me.

The best I can do is let go of some of the baggage I still cling desperately to – the anger, pain, sadness, and anxiety bred from the years I struggled so hard to just be normal. For them, I will figure out how to let it all go, to live in the moment and not cling to the past, to embrace the lessons life has taught me. If I can do that, I just might be the kind of Mommy they deserve.

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2 Responses to “My kids’ mom”

  1. Heather November 29, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    You are amazing. Your children are beyond lucky to have you as their mother. Love you!

  2. Life of a Doctor's Wife November 29, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Beautiful. Just beautiful.

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