I became a mom a little over 10 years ago. From the moment we found out we were pregnant to the moment we arrived at the hospital so that I could deliver our first child I was so happy. I had a lot of ideas about what motherhood would be like. What I have since discovered from the moment our first daughter arrived into the world until this very morning is that becoming a mommy is a process that never stops and is never what you thought it would be. It has been full of the wonder of watching as new life enters a room in the most preposterous of ways, and full of the heartache of knowing there are lives that we will never get to know. I have experienced the highest of highs: watching my children love others, witnessing great kindness and sensitivity, being helped without them asking for something in return. I have experienced the lowest of lows: watching them fight, bearing the brunt of bad attitudes, feeling so out of control as a mom that I despaired of ever doing (or having done) anything right. I have been happy to sacrifice, I have felt bitter about giving of myself. I have hated nursing, I have loved nursing. I have enjoyed serving meals, I have despised cooking for little people who have decided they don't like things that they have been eating for years (in fact, I am in this phase right now). I have felt energized beyond what is rational, and I have felt more tired than what I thought was humanly possible.
At the end of every day, though, there is something that always stands out no matter what came before. Even if I have misbehaved or they have misbehaved (or both), a miracle happens at the end of each day that never fails to amaze and humble me. Actually, I should say two miracles. The first is that my kids squeeze me around my neck and tell me they love me. The second is that I, too, am filled with love for them even if the day held untold difficulties and conflict. While I might be tempted to say that "tired", or "giving", or "laundress", or "dishwasher", or "chauffeur" is the word that comes to mind when I think of motherhood, the word that keeps standing out in my mind is "love".
The joy of motherhood for me lies in the mystery of my love for my children. It is immeasurable, incomparable, sometimes unexplainable or even elusive. It always shows up in the end, though.
I Heart Faces is focusing on Motherhood this week. There are sure to be many, many beautiful interpretations. Take a peek...