Six years ago I celebrated mother's day a week before my wedding. I halfheartedly gave my mother a card and looked forward to what would happen later that week-wedding rehearsals, dinner, my marriage to John, our reception and our honeymoon in Maui, HI.
Five years ago I celebrated mother's day reluctantly. I sat in bed nursing a 2 week old while grimacing in pain with every suck. I pushed away cards and candy from John saying that I'd only been a mother for two weeks so it didn't seem like I should celebrate yet. I fought back tears of post-partum baby blues and wondered if this motherhood thing would ever turn out as wonderfully and the blessing that everyone said it was.
Four years ago I celebrated Mother's day with a 12 month old. Anne couldn't walk yet but she was close. I desperately looked forward to the days when she would be old enough to celebrate with me on this day-to talk to me, to do things with me, to be a real person instead of the baby that she was.
Three years ago I celebrated Mother's Day with a 2 year old. Anne could talk to me, she had interests of her own, and she was just about the cutest thing I had ever laid eyes on. I was often brought to tears when I thought about how much I loved her. John and I talked about trying for another baby and giving Anne a sibbling and filling our house with even more love, while wondering if that could be truly possible.
Two years ago, I celebrated Mother's day with a 3 year old on my lap and a 2 month old in my arms. My heart was more full of love then I could have ever imagined. Words couldn't describe how full my heart was. Often I thought it would burst from being so full. I didn't know what I had done to be so blessed. Life was perfect with these two little perfect people in it.
One year ago I celebrated Mother's Day with a 4 year old and a 14 month old. I was so lucky. Anne was gorgeous and precious and the first love of my life. Jamie was adorable and so full of personality and the second love of my life. 14 months prior I had sworn as Jamie was born that I would never go through this again and yet having my heart so full of love that it was practically bursting, John and I looked forward to the fall when we would try for yet another baby.
This year I celebrate Mother's day with a 5 year old, a 2 year old and a baby who is only 3 months away from being born. Anne decorated me a card and picked out a bag of Snickers as my gift. John had to convince her that even though she wanted to give me jelly beans because she liked them, she needed to pick something I would like too. She gave me a card from preschool with her hand print in purple and little finger prints decorated as bugs. Jamie scribbled me an orange card and put stickers on the inside. Even at 2 and with only half his words intelligible to others, he joked that he had picked out the Snickers and they were his. My baby squirmed and kicked inside of me, always letting me know he/she was there and would soon be in my arms. John made me a throw-back to school days craft that meant more to me than any other card he has given me. He thanked me for all the things I do for our family.
On this day, I live in a current state of constant dichotomy. I am annoyed practically on a moment by moment basis by the whining, fighting, and simple constant needs of my family and oddly in those exact moments I am more grateful for them than I could explain. I wish every day for some peace and quiet and maybe just maybe having one day off where the kids are out of the house doing things I can have some peace and quiet. And yet the very moment they step away from me, I miss them. I wish for a break and think about how lucky moms are that work because they get to step away from the chaos for a few hours but as I think that I couldn't be more grateful and blessed that I get to stay home with my kids. I wonder how adding a 3rd will affect our family and wonder if I can do it knowing that 2 kids drive me up a wall now. And I wonder how I could possibly love this little child inside me as much as I love his/her brother and sister. It does not seem possible that I could once again possess that type of love for another person. It does not seem possible that there is even more space for my heart to grow and yet I look forward to a day, 3 months or less from now when I hold this baby in my arms and sob over how much I love him/her.
I have come so far in the past 6 years. 6 years ago I was single, looking to getting married and having children. Today I have a husband that I thank God for every single day and children who have changed me, grown me, taught me more than can be taught in a life time of life. I wonder what next mother's day will bring and I welcome it with open arms.