Eight years ago today, this is what I was doing:
Dear Abby & Izzy,
On this day eight years ago, you came into my life and changed me forever. You made me a mother, something I thought I might not ever have the chance to be.
It’s been a bumpy road. I’m a far-from-perfect mother. Daddy gets to be the fun one.
brush your teeth! did you brush your hair? is your folder in your backpack? eat your breakfast. HURRY UP. get dressed! it’s twenty degrees outside, you NEED A SWEATER over that shirt! please chew with your mouth closed. brush your teeth. HURRY UP. we’re going to be late. where’s your homework? get in the car. put your clothes away. homework first, then you can go outside to play. it’s too cold to play outside. clean up the toy room. NOW. brush your teeth! let me smell your breath. eat two more bites and then you can have dessert. HURRY UP. Nemo doesn’t belong in the kitchen. did you even wash your hands? there’s a hole in your sock, you can’t wear those. seriously? yes, you have to shower tonight, you’re stinky. do i need to put on the timer? just a minute. i’m coming. i asked you to BRUSH YOUR TEETH.
I’m your mom. I’m supposed to nag you to do these things. Sure, it’s hard to listen to. It’s hard for me to listen to myself. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that motherhood isn’t a big deal, because it is. It’s hard and important work, it’s being on call 24/7, it’s being a nurse and a therapist and a housekeeper, it’s being a laundress, a tutor, a grocery shopper, a chauffeur; it’s worrying about you 24/7, taking you to the dentist, the eye doctor, the pediatrician. It’s making sure there’s food in the pantry and clean underwear in your dresser. It’s sniffing your hair when you get out of the shower to make sure you smell like shampoo instead of a wet dog. It’s trying to teach you how to walk the line, do the right thing, set a good example, help others, stand up for yourself, show kindness, ask questions, be brave, try new things, respect your teachers and your elders, and ohmygodthislistwheredoesitend?
Because motherhood never ends. I will never stop being your mother. I’m the only mother you will ever have, for better or for worse.
I love you to the moon and back. I’m sorry I’m hard on you sometimes. There’s a lot about me you’re too young to understand yet, and that makes it difficult. Just know that my love for you knows no bounds. And even on my bleakest days…you? are my sunshines.