Every so often since I became a mother I wish I had a time machine so I could go back in time and live life free and easy again, just for a minute. It’s on the days that are filled with watermelon stains on the brand new upholstered bar stools and bubble mixture pooling on the living room carpet. Those days where the time out flag has been waved far too regularly, where the whining continues even after what feels like a hundred reminders about the use of a nice voice. Sometimes motherhood leaves me flopping around on the shore of life, gasping for air. And then…
…and then come those magical moments where my sand-roughened fins catch an incoming wave and I’m swept back out into that sweet, sweet sea. Those magical moments that make every last demand for more trail mix seem ultimately less draining, the moments that make pretending to be the Grumpy Dwarf to her Snow White for the hundredth time worthwhile. Magical moments like when this miracle of mine doesn’t even look up from her busy play to tell me I’m the best mommy in the world, and I feel like my heart just got thrown a stick of dynamite. When she throws her arms around me and tells me she loves me, for no apparent reason at all. When she shouts “I’m HAPPY!” as we skip along the boardwalk on our mommy-daughter outing. All this in spite of when I scolded her more harshly than I would have liked, in spite of the day I refused to let her feet leave the bathroom step stool for close to ten minutes before she finally agreed to brush her teeth (and probably partly because of it).
And it’s these moments when I watch her proudly pushing her baby doll stroller down the street next to my real one, the moments where she can’t stop giggling while watching her little sister eat rice cereal for the first time. When I’m listening to her (loudly) sing the same Disney song off key with made-up words, and with no concern as to who might be listening or what they might think. Watching her laugh as the dog chases her in circles around the house, seeing her smile when she shares a special toy with “baby sis” even when she knows it’s going to get drooled on. The delight of seeing her dad walk through the door after a long day at work, and the look on her face when she welcomes him by having him flip her upside down.
I am a mom. Nobody said it was going to be easy, but nobody could have ever described fully what joy it would bring me to have these two amazing little people in my life (and the guy they call daddy). I’d still take that time machine, but just for a quick visit to the old me to let her know that one day her worst “problem” was going to be having to deal with watermelon stains on the furniture and bubble mixture on the carpet. That she’d one day have to deal with a lot of tantrums and a lot of spit up, and that it would be the best thing that ever happened to her.
Ciao, and goodbye for now,