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Sunday, May 13, 2012

The shape of a mother - Mother's Day 2012

Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful women out there who have devoted themselves to raising beautiful people. I am so thankful for the women who were part of the "village" raising me, especially my own Mama. I am also thankful for my circle of friends who are part of the village helping me to raise Norah. Motherhood is a unique and amazing gift, and I so cherish those around me who are there to help shape me into the mother I most want to be.

Of all the cumulative experiences in my almost 29 years, motherhood has probably been the one that has changed the shape of me, body and soul, the most. From the first exciting moments watching a second pink line grow slowly darker, my body was undergoing the most dramatic changes it would ever know in order to support the growth and development of my perfectly beautiful daughter.  Watching my belly stretch and expand, wondering with amazement every day that I was actually growing a whole person underneath my skin.  Preparing for the physically arduous task of bringing her into the world, not knowing what that day would hold for us. Getting through the extreme challenges of her birth and recovery.  The process of bringing a child into this world is one that caused some major physical changes in this body of mine, but I know that I am lucky enough to have been able to bring her into this world, challenges and all.

She will always be the baby who made me a Mama

But the real shape of a mother is not the stretch marked, soft bellied, deflated *ahem* ladies shape most of us come to know after having our babies, but the way the shape of our hearts must grow and change in order to accommodate the amazing love we feel for these tiny people we created.  The color in the world is different when seeing it through your baby's eyes.  Even on the most frustrating days when in the span of 2 small minutes you can follow a very fast, very small person through every room in the house and follow a trail of destruction right behind her, knowing there is no point in picking up the mayhem until the sun sets on the day, just so you can do it all over again tomorrow. And we do. As the shape of our days changes along with our children while they grow, we too are shaped more and more into the mamas we strive to become.

My own mother deserves so much credit for shaping me into the person I am, and without her I think I would be lost as a mama myself. She taught me patience, and the value of honesty and hard work, she taught me to value friendships and how to be kind to others. She taught me to roll with whatever parenthood throws at you, because "they throw the parenting manual out with the placenta" (her words...) and sometimes you just have to wing it and hope it turns out OK.  If it doesn't, make up for it later. But Love. Always Love. And that will be enough to get us through most of it.

I am not a perfect mama. There are days when I'm not even a very good one, I'm afraid. But there are lots and lots of moments when I know I'm getting it right. When my daughter spontaneously throws her arms around my neck and squeezes with all she's got. When she runs away squealing with joy as I chase her with tickle-monster hands. When she brings a book to me and curls up into my lap to hear a story. And those moments, those are the ones that are defining the shape of this mother, on this Mother's Day.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE the last pic! all the pics, but especially the last one. such love there! (oh, and love your beautiful words, too!)