This weekend we took an early trip to Santa’s workshop to beat the crowd and get in our Christmas lists. My daughter asked Santa to bring her a train set this year and some more Play-doh. She made certain to reiterate that she wanted a train set two more times before leaving his side.
Outside of his workshop there is a room, a magical room filled with twinkling trees & falling snow. I watched my daughter & her friend as they ran through the fake snow. As the snow formed small piles around them, they tossed it up into the air, giddy with excitement. At first I began to object, but the objections trailed off. Have I ever enjoyed anything as much as they do right now I wondered? I stared at my girl, unable to blink. I didn’t want to lose a precious moment. I felt my eyes well up with tears. I hoped that nobody saw me. I felt silly to be crying, but I just couldn’t help it.
There are moments when a mother cries. The tears are not from sadness, they are from joy. Sometimes there is so much happiness, so much love that your body simply cannot contain it. When it finally bursts, it can bring forth an explosion of smiles & laughter and at other times it flows out as tears. These tears are not bitter, they are sweet.
I felt as if I had never witnessed anything quite so beautiful. I could feel her wonder. It was magical. Her energy was contagious. I found myself grabbing a handful of snow as well. Before I could throw it, I was hit in the face with a small handful of white flakes. My assailant was a dimpled face angel with braids in her hair. She laughed uncontrollably. “I got you, mama.” She giggled & then ran away.
I looked around at the disapproving looks from the other mothers at our antics, but I simply did not care. Let them look. Today, I see life through my child’s eyes. Today, I am innocent and free and I don’t care what others think. With tears in my eyes, snow in my hair, a smile on my face & love in my heart I realize that this is my happy place. This is what life is all about. This is why I became a mother.
Motherhood is riddled with a wide range of emotions. From the day that your child is born, you are overcome with feelings like you have never felt before. You have never loved so much, laughed so much, feared so much or felt so happy. As much joy as your children bring into your life there are days that can bring you to tears.
When our daughter was first born, I cried a lot. I cried from exhaustion, confusion & from the endlessly overwhelming feelings of uncertainty that I felt. I didn’t think that I was doing anything right. I could not get my daughter to sleep or stop crying. I was certain that I was going to be a failure at motherhood. Time went on and those tears dried up. Things got easier. As our daughter grew so did my love. Not that I didn’t love her before mind you, but watching her develop into a person with her own personality and mind was magnificent. It was nice getting to meet my daughter.
This week I found those tears again. This time is was not from the exhaustion or uncertainty is was from a wounded heart. It first began over the weekend. Mai reached for her toy guitar in one of her toy bins. She was having a difficult time pulling it out as it was stuck on the lip of the shelf. I walked over to her and asked…
“Do you need Mama’s help?”
“NO! Daddy do it!”
“Mai, Daddy is resting. Mama can get it for you.”
“NO! No Mama! It’s Daddy’s turn.”
When I pulled out the guitar to hand it to her, she threw herself on the ground sobbing and kept asking for Daddy.
This was just one of many incidents similar to this that occurred over the past few days. With every diaper change or bath or bedtime story, my daughter cried and said that she wanted Daddy to do it. I felt as if I was just picked last in gym class, dumped at the prom & lied to by best friend all in the same day. I felt a sad little pit planting itself into my stomach. I tried to tell myself that she was just going through a Daddy phase this week. Lord knows that she has done the same thing to my husband, but this did not bring me any comfort. Tonight after Daddy gave her a bath & got her ready for bed, he had to leave for work. I tucked her in to read her a bedtime story. She pleaded and sobbed & asked for Daddy. I opened the book and started reading through her protests. As I read, she cried. I could feel my own eyes filling up with tears. After a few sentences she finally calmed down, snuggled in and listened. She looked up at me and smiled and said “Mama, one more book.” Of course, my baby. After she fell asleep, I drowned my hurt feelings in a bowl of frozen yogurt. Looks like mama might have to grow some thicker skin before the teenage years hit. I better buy some more yogurt.