And mothering these not-so-tiny humans is the hardest thing I've ever done.
The other night I went to bed, and I thought to myself, today is the first day that I haven't felt like a bad mom in a really long time. The guilt is overwhelming sometimes. I'm positive I'm screwing them up for life. I've considered buying them therapy sessions for when they're adults for all the screwed up things I've done. I'm pretty sure I'm too hard on them. I'm positive I yell too much. I expect a lot from them. I worry about them constantly. I just want them to be happy, and not end up on drugs or in jail, but really, mostly, I just want them to be happy. And I think they are, I hope they are, but I'm not certain.
The older they get, the harder this mom thing becomes. Bigger kids, bigger problems. They are at the age where I can put myself in each of their shoes and remember what it was like to be right where they're at. They seem much cooler than I ever was. I was very much the ugly duckling and the odd man out. My mom still calls me the odd man out; the black sheep. I don't quite fit in anywhere. My kids, though, they aren't like I was, and I hope they never are. They are themselves, which I was always uncomfortable being.
Being a mom means I have four pieces of my heart walking around outside my body. Being a mom has broken my heart and mended it more times than I can count. Being a mom is the greatest thing I have ever done with my life. Being a mom has brought me to tears and to my knees all in a second. It has made me smile and cry and laugh and yell and want to pull my hair out and squeeze them so hard they can't breathe. It's made me want to lock them up and away from the big bad world and at the same time send them out to be the light in the darkness, because I know they're the helpers and the do-gooders of this world. They are my light and my sun and my rainbow after the storm, even though sometimes they cause the storm. They are my heart and my soul and my laughter through tears; they are my good morning and good night and hello and good-bye. They are the sparkle in my eye and the break in my heart and the smile on my face and the furrow in my brow. They are the reason I go to bed at night praying that I'll be better and do better tomorrow.
Today I don't need to be celebrated. I don't WANT to be celebrated. I want to celebrate these wondrous creatures God has given me and thank them for making me a mom. I want to give them more of me and my time and attention and more of my energy...because they deserve it. I want to give them the best part of me, and not always the exhausted part. I want to give them my joy and my patience instead of my hopeless, useless, ungracious self. I want to give them the grace they deserve, just like they give to me.
So, Happy Mother's Day to my kids who made me a mom. What I'm really celebrating today is you.