It’s 4:30am and my husband and I wake up to the sound of our 18 month old crying. He’s hungry and needs snuggles. We both get up. One heads to the kitchen to grab a bottle and the other to the bathroom so snuggle time isn’t cut short by nature. After a couple of minutes, we rendezvous in the kitchen and shuffle towards the bedrooms. One of us goes back to bed while the other heads in to snuggle and feed the tiny person. As I sit there with the baby smelling toddler who wants his papa, but settles for mama instead, I start to think about what today has meant for me and what it means now.
Before my own motherhood chapter began, this was a day where I celebrated my mom. I remember making paper flowers with offerings of “5 hugz” or “10 kisssez” written on the stems and slipped into a paper vase that I glued onto a card. Or the many years where we’d make breakfast for mom and serve it up in bed. I also remember that at some point, cynicism for the holiday emerged. This had nothing to do with my mom, but the shift from thinking that something handmade, prepping breakfast or spending time together was better replaced with a trinket purchased at a store. I was letting marketers do a number on my perspective. Yes,I was one of those people who thought, these single days throughout the year to celebrate those we love, are manufactured affection days. Paaaaatooohhheee! Nonetheless, I still celebrated, but with this thought in the back of my mind.
So I’m sitting here rocking my little guy to sleep and thinking about what “Mother’s Day” has become for me. My lips are resting at the top of his noggin as I cradle him and hold one of his squeezable feet with my other hand. He’s alternating between giving himself the bottle and his orange pacifier, while whispering, “Hi” to me in between item rotation. When he passes me the bottle and nods off against my chest, I begin to rock him for 10 minutes to ensure he’ll sleep in a little longer. Then I realize that I’m really doing it because I love snuggling him and this time next year, he’ll be too big to replicate this same position or he may not need to. I am thinking that I might force him to relive the moment…even when he’s 35.
I’m now pulling him closer and thinking about how I have much to celebrate today, as a mama.
Mother’s Day Celebration of Many
Of course, I celebrate my mom, who would sew me the most amazing dresses for my junior high and high school dances, while making it to all of my sporting and band events. She also stood beside me when things got “dicey” in life: jobs, friendships, outlooks, etc.
In addition to mom, I’m celebrating two other people:
My husband, the chosen love bug in my life who helps support me in this new role that I’m continuing to grow into. There’s a learning curve to this parenting gig that can be funny, bittersweet and gut wrenching. It’s a universal experience that’s reflected and shared in books, movies and songs. Couldn’t have asked for a more loving, contentious and sweet person to partner with in this life.
My child, who became our heart center upon his discovery and again on a beautiful fall morning. You have presented us with growth opportunities through your journey in discovering, adapting to and impacting the world. We now realize the sweetness of the words, “mama” and “papa”. And your giggle…if only we could bottle that up and release it later in life!
Today I’m celebrating Mother’s Day, “Husband’s Day” and “Child’s Day”. I look forward to one day receiving paper flowers with things like “hugz on deemanb” written on the stems with crayon. In fact, I will prefer that type of affection any day of the week, for as long as I’m around.
How and who are you celebrating today?