When I was little my daddy assured me that when I grew up I would turn into a boy. That all little girls grew up to be boys and all little boys turned into girls. Now, with a nostalgic twinkle and gentle smile, he tells of my response.
"When I grow up I want to be a mamma!"
I have always wanted to be a mamma. To have a house full of kids, running and laughing and playing is my idea of bliss. The joy and open mouthed wonder a two year old has at the first sight of a ladybug makes me feel a resurgence of life in my own heart. Watching the lightbulb flicker and then burst into brilliance above a child's head when they figure out that they are READING! Really, truly, absolutely READING for the first time makes my heart swell and out bubbles blissful laughter. Hearing two siblings, who have been mortal enemies for years, now quietly visiting and gently playing have me quietly wiping thankful tears.
This is what I have always longed for.
The long nights of post surgery births, the painful pull of stitches, the bumps of excited brothers looking at the new baby brought joy to my spirit. Here was a new life; full of wonder and love and delight to share.
Endless dirty bottles, always smelling of spit up, blown out diapers; put in the proper place of context were just a momentary hardship.
Temper tantrums, lies, spilled milk; were the training ground for the future battles I would face.
Personalities, temperaments, learning styles; all unique, never duplicated in other siblings made me learn to adapt and be flexible, stretching me in ways I never expected.
Research, racking my brain and stretching my resources, searching for the answer to what was wrong in hearts and minds has been duly rewarded with progress and change. That filled me with hope. Lessons learned through the hardest of times carry me on still today.
You children have shaped me. Changed me. Filled me up and wrung me out. You make me laugh. Weep. Scream. You challenge my mind. You stretch my heart.
And I wouldn't change it all for anything.