Motherhood is hard.
From loving her before she’s born (not even sure if she’s a girl or boy). From feeling that first little toe kick or elbow wiggle from inside, to that first eye contact, and her first bubbling giggle. Watching her walk, fall, cry, grow, and (hold onto my heart) learn to drive. Waiting up for her when she comes in after my old lady bedtime. And that day when she leaves–off to college, so brave and scared, willful, confident, and still so young.
Motherhood is wonderful. And hard.
These feelings bubbled up and demanded attention recently. I helped my baby pick a wedding gown two days ago and I’m still shaking from it. I watched her sister have a baby almost five years ago and the memory still knocks the breath out of me and wobbles my knees. None of my weakness is their fault. My kryptonite is my love for them. It’s a fierce mama-bear love that can hold me up when I need it, or slap me down with worry.
Our two daughters are mighty. And sweet. Strong, empathetic, loving. An order of magnitude beyond anything learned or inherited from me.
It isn’t pride I feel for them, though some might call it pride. It’s more a deep pleasure. I am pleased by the beautiful women they have become. “Pleased” seems too small for the size of this feeling. But all of my hopes for them, born with them when I first held them and kissed their tiny cheeks, were for happiness. A content life. Full of love and security. Lives well lived. Lives with choices to make, minds to change, people to love, chances to laugh, and a home to come to where arms will hug them and their families.
Though I worry about our whole world and the billions of people who seem to rush to hate and fight, my daughters give me peace and show me hope.
And my heart remembers the little girls inside.