I wrote something a while back. A long while, given that my youngest child is now six, and he wasn’t even born when I wrote this thought down. It still rings true, now, and it’s a good reminder to me as my eldest will be a teenager in less than six months. I still need to keep these moments in my heart, as they grow up and away from me. Like the toad in this picture, my children deign to be held for a time, but for them to be truly happy I will have to let them go free. After touching their warts and saying “ewww!” of course.
There are many signs of motherhood. Today I wore, for a while, a badge on my shoulder and reflected about other badges like it that I have worn and will wear through my life. My youngest banged her head, and as I held her in my arms and murmured to her, she buried her face in my shoulder and sobbed. A few minutes later, after I had put her down and she was playing happily, I realized she had left a patch of tears and snot on my shoulder. One more in a succession of such spots. They started with the spit-up from my babies, and will progress to lower marks of banged knees and elbows, from cuddles at an age where they are usually past such comforts. Hopefully, when my daughters are teens I will be mother enough to shoulder their tears over every little heartbreak in a way my mother never did. And when our lives have come full circle it will be spit-up again, from their babies. All my life I will be proud of my badges of motherhood, but I prefer to wear them invisibly. Pardon me while I change my shirt.