Shaun and I were heading out to a couples barn party. We were running a little late, I couldn't find the car charger for the cell phone, things were a little chaotic, and Drew was saying his belly hurt and was laying on the sofa. I was giving everyone kisses before we left, and when I got to the sofa and kissed Drew bye he held on and said "I love you mommy." I had this feeling like he was very aware of what he was saying and not just saying it out of habit. I kissed him again and told him I loved him too. Then I ran out and got in the truck, and just as we were about to back down the driveway the front door opened and Drew came out on the porch with this shy little half smile and kind of waved at us again like he had something else to say. I opened my door and he said "Mommy, I love you higher than the whole universe." And I no longer cared that we were running late, I got back out of the truck and ran up to the porch and scooped him up in my arms and just held him and hugged him and rocked him close to me. He held on tight, and I could tell his belly was still hurting, and that just made his extra effort to come outside and tell me that he loved me again even more special. After a few minutes standing there holding him I carried him back inside and laid him back down on the sofa and went back to the truck. And I had tears in my eyes and couldn't even speak most of the ride to our party. How I love that boy. All of my boys. A heart full to bursting times three.
You do all this stuff as a mom. You make countless meals, you wipe faces, you clean dishes, you do load after load of laundry, cleaning up the same messes made different ways over and over and over again. You rock babies to sleep, you wake in the middle of the night to wipe tears and rub backs and calm fears, to nurse your littlest in the wee hours when their eyes are not fully open, but yours are, and you watch as they hold onto your soft warm presence, and you know that they feel so safe there nestled against you. You hold their little bodies over the toilet when they're sick, too weak to hold themselves up, you are their strength. You watch them play, explore, conquer, sometimes timidly, sometimes energetically, and you feel your own heartbeat in their every breath. You settle arguments, you discipline, you teach, you referee, you play, you cook, you work, you pay bills and manage the schedule, you wear more hats and hold more roles in a day than any other job description you can think of. And somewhere in the midst of the merry go round that doesn't always feel like it's going anywhere those little innocent babies and those rambunctious, hysterically-funny-but-slightly-clueless toddlers turn into little people who all of the sudden notice you. They see you, and in the most unlikely of moments they find a way to show you that they love you too. And it means SO. MUCH. All that you are doing, sacrificing, the emptying of self and the laying down of your own wants and needs, it is worth it, and it means something so deep and profound and heart wrenching. This raising of little souls is the most emotional and fulfilling adventure I could have ever imagined.
(This post is part of a 31 day series on being present)