I am Jason's mom, and Christine's, and Carrie's, and Kelly's mom. I am a proud mom. I know along the way that I have made mistakes but I'm okay with that. There's no manual for motherhood and anyone who knows me knows that I've never read a manual in my life anyways. I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of person and like it or not, this is how I've 'mothered'.
I became a mom for the first time when I was 18. What does any 18 year old know? Not that much in the scheme of things. So when my kids complain about things I don't remember and things I didn't do right I tell them that considering my age and my lack of experience they're lucky they're even around to complain. I wasn't a worrier. There was no internet so I couldn't consult Dr. Google on any of the issues that came up. Not that I would have recognized an "issue" if one would have arisen. I had no immediate family around and these weren't the days of mommy groups. For the most part I did what I liked. I picked my babies up when they cried, I spent all day playing with them and being amazed by how perfect they were. I did things that nowadays would be frowned on but again, I wouldn't have likely cared what the 'experts' were saying anyways even if I would have known. And as luck would have it, it all worked out for the best. My kids are terrific!
When I think back on the early days of motherhood I think of the quiet times and in spite of having four kids there were many quiet times. I can remember moments of snuggling a wee one in my arms and just smelling that wonderful baby smell. I can feel the heat of my toddlers' bodies as they settle in for a story. I can see the fingerprints on the walls and the windows and the fridge and the cupboards and in places you can't even imagine fingerprints could get. I can hear the squeal of each of their voices as they said to their dad, "Do it again! Do it again!" I can feel the soft squeeze of my babies' fists as they hold a finger while they nurse. I can hear the sound a mattress makes as my children bounce up and down on the bed on the floor above me, waiting for that thump and cry that tells me that it's time to kiss the 'owie' away. I remember each of their first days at Kindergarten and the feeling in the pit of my stomach as I wished for kind teachers and happy playmates, hoping they were ready for the 'real' world. And in the blink of an eye the years have passed and I now have the pleasure and the honor of watching each of these amazing people go through the same experiences with their own children.
That's how fast motherhood passes. Just like the roller coaster, the ride you've been anticipating as you stood in line, it is over in a flash. Those wee babies grow up and make mistakes and learn from them, make friends, lose them and make new friends, fall in love, get hurt and fall in love again, leave home, come home and leave home again, love you, dislike you and love you again. It's all part and parcel of motherhood and I wouldn't have missed it for the world,
Jason, Christine, Carrie and Kelly, thank you for surviving my ignorance and lack of experience. Thank you for making motherhood so easy. Thank you for all the hugs and kisses and tears along the way. Thank you for being such terrific kids and now for being such terrific adults. Thank you for sharing your own families with us day in and day out. Thank you for making my motherhood experience such a wonderful one! I love you!