Last week Grace handed me a sweet little flower. Brandon had picked it and given it to her and then she gave it to me. It was the most beautiful flower in the world!
I thought about pressing it into her baby book, but that would require actually having started a baby book- which I haven’t done yet. (Baaaaad mommy, I know- she’s almost ONE!) And then, out of nowhere, I had a little aha moment: bad mommy or good mommy, I’m a MOMMY! Again, odd since Grace is turning one in a few short weeks. I hear you telling me, “Isabelle, you’ve been a mommy this whole time.” But only recently have I actually related to that word. I’ve been asking myself, when in the past 11 months of midnight feedings and teething and drooly kisses did I become a mother? For so long I saw my hands as the hands of someone who was starting a business teaching yoga to children, or hands massaging my husband’s tired back, or hands learning too cook or hands journaling. Now, I see hands that have changed hundreds of diapers, washed and folded a thousand tiny socks and shirts, held a tiny mouth to my breast late at night (wincing in pain for quite a few months), held my baby dancing in the kitchen, and eased her down to sleep.
Seeing these hands (now nicely manicured) I understand something that has been at the edge of my consciousness since I first took Grace in my arms on that cold bathroom floor and inhaled her newborn smell.
I thought I’d become a mother the day Gracie Lou was born. It isn’t so. I’ve joined the ranks slowly, gradually, one caress, one diaper, one feeding at a time. And then one day I looked down and there they were, the hands of a mother, gently and with enormous strength doing the most important job on earth.