it is funny to me, but in some round about way i have come to be a full time mama, by choice. as my maternity leave winds down i realize that after all of it, the hours and days of constant inconsolable crying, the sore nipples and spit up stained everything, the never being able to do anything, anything without him on my arm, the lack of sleep or “me” time (i.e. a shower or a meal), after all of it, there is still nowhere else i would rather be. that after only 2 hours of sleep when he wakes me up yet again, i walk into his room and see his face light up and that tiny smile come across his lips as he sees me, my heart is full and i’m ready to start another day with him. his smiles are precious gold, i can’t imagine missing a single one of them.
motherhood takes time. it’s as if there is this grieving period that comes with the vast, overwhelming enormity of having a child. the vastness that has swallowed up your life and put you in a different reality. there’s this adjustment period where you are realizing it isn’t what you had dreamed, the dreaming you had been doing since you were a little girl. it looks very different. and you suddenly have to know the answers to these very basic questions but you find that you don’t know them. and you are lost. and you read all of the books and hear all of the people with all of their different answers telling you it takes time to learn them but one day suddenly you look at this baby and you realize that you have all of the answers, all of the answers in the world for all of the millions of questions this tiny person has. and they’re your baby. and you’re their mama. and their smiles are for you. and they are the sun and you are the moon and there’s nothing else.
all of the cliches about parenting are true, but you’ll never understand them until you are in it. everything in life is small in comparison. everything in life is colored by it. it’s incredibly powerful, the love that comes with it, from this extension of your own body. you carry it around inside of you and then you give birth and you carry it around in your arms and you nurse it and somehow it remains this part of you, this part of your body that carries all of the most tender and fragile and buried things you never knew about yourself. something is restored but something new is there with it. in being so needed you realize that you need them just as much. it’s reciprocal, a circle that is very fluid and very complete. it’s not just nature, it is magic.