This post is the second of our runner up winners of our big “For the Love of Mom” writing contest. Over the next couple weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, we will be sharing our winner’s posts. Please feel free to comment and share them – we can’t wait to see how they resonate with YOU! I love how Susan finds the joy in the little things…..because I personally struggle daily to slow down long enough to enjoy them!
What I love about motherhood are the moments.
This morning my two-year-old woke up, toddled out of her bedroom, saw me sitting at my computer and immediately called out in excitement.
“Ma! Mama! You he-a?”
“Good morning, honey. Yes, I’m right here.”
On chubby toddler legs she waddle-ran toward me, as if I had just returned home from a trip to outer space.
“Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama!” Her little body flopped against my knees. “Mama? I hold you?”
“Of course, hon.” I reached down and pulled her onto my lap. She wrapped her arms around my middle and snuggled her tousled hair against my chest.
“Mama, I wuv you.”
I tucked her in just last night and haven’t left the house, but the distance of nighttime might as well have been the distance from here to the moon. Her joy at my mere presence bubbled out of her very being, softening my heart and bringing a smile to my face. Those joy bubbles are why I love being a mom.
People who spend time around children know what I’m talking about. It seems that kids have an innate way of seeing magic and wonder everywhere they go.
“Mom! Look at this rock!”
“I’m making a space ship, wanna see?”
“Cool! If I blow in my straw, the milk makes bubbles!”
That amazement at the mundane becomes contagious if you let it. It’s like a bubble of joy floats out of their soul and grows to encircle me and anyone else around.
Hearing my five-year-old’s devious giggle. Watching my eight-year-old rocket blast imaginary Tie Fighters and Bucket-Head Zombies. Discovering a new bug, rock or plant through the eyes of my toddler.
These bubbles of joy are what make motherhood precious. They grow and float in a never ending stream, always inviting me in.
My challenge is to not pop them.
Sometimes the work of being a parent dims my perspective and prevents me from seeing the bubbles for what they are. The never-ending uphill treadmill of cleaning, cooking, tending, chasing, shuttling, organizing and nagging feels immediately important at times.
“I have to get the laundry done or you won’t have clean underwear tomorrow.”
“Could you just pick up your toys for once?”
“If I don’t put this in the oven now, we won’t have any dinner tonight.”
How difficult is it to pause and admire the lego workmanship of a child? Or play spy kitties for a few minutes before tidying up the room?
At times I forget that childhood is fleeting, that soon the joy bubbles may very well turn to anger darts. I want to hold onto these moments as much as possible, but like bubbles I know they will soon be gone.
This Mother’s Day I don’t want flowers or chocolates or a fancy spa day. I don’t need to go out for a special Mother’s Day brunch. What I want is to spend time with the children I love most in the world. I want to feel their joy and share some of my own. I want to collect the precious moments that make motherhood worthwhile.
I want to catch the bubble of joy and hold on for as long as it lasts. If I can do that, I’ll count myself lucky.
Susan Strayer is the author of the blog MountainMomandTots.com. She lives near Sundance Resort in Utah with her husband and three young kids. Other than blogging and the outdoors, her favorite activities include snowboarding, reading and eating good food.
This post was written exclusively for Tales of a Mountain Mama in response to the For the Love of Mom writing contest.
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