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A Mother's Day tale--a day late

May 13, 2013 - Kristy MacKaben
I can say I wasn't exactly ready to be a mom.

Then again, who really is prepared for what motherhood has in store.

I had just lost 35 pounds on Weight Watchers when the pregnancy stick showed positive. I was 26. Scott and I had been married a little over one year and we were planning a Caribbean cruise with friends.

Those two pink lines scared the heck out of me.

I was convinced I wouldn't have a clue about taking care of a baby and I was surely going to screw something up.

Little did I know how right I was.

I had no idea how to take care of a baby. And I sure made mistakes along the way.

Many people say your firstborn child is an experiment. How true that is.

My baby girl Julie taught me so much about being a mom.

I laugh now thinking about how frazzled I was as a first-time mom. I would never skip naptimes, and I would completely stress if feedings were off schedule or if baby Julie was around someone with the sniffles. I felt that if I provided this perfect scenario she would be this amazingly happy, well behaved, content and healthy baby. My baby girl taught me to lighten up. Some things just don't go as planned.

My toddler Julie taught me to let go.

Julie was this smarty pants little toddler. Before she turned 2 she recognized every letter in the alphabet, and also knew all the letter sounds, along with shapes, numbers and colors. But, she was completely strong-willed, and sometimes impossible to make happy. Some nights I would go to bed crying wondering what I was doing wrong. My toddler Julie taught me to let go of who I wanted her to be and just let her be who she's supposed to be---orneriness and all.

My preschooler Julie taught me to love her for who she is.

By the time Julie started preschool, I knew to expect the unexpected. At 3, Julie had dozens of imaginary mermaid friends. Each day after preschool Julie would tell me long, elaborate stories about how she played with all of her mermaid friends named after various colors of the rainbow.

Her preschool teacher complained that sometimes Julie seemed to be in her own little world. Julie taught me to be OK with that.

My elementary schooler Julie has taught me to never underestimate your kids.

I can't help but be ecstatic about a good report card or an excellent note from the teacher, or a song played beautifully on the piano or the much improved kick on the breast stroke, but I shouldn't be surprised. She's capable of anything, and I need to let her know that. All the time.

Today Julie taught me that I am loved.

This morning Julie brought me breakfast in bed---a bowl of whipped cream and bananas. She then told me to look underneath my pillow where I found a drawing of she and me, along with some homemade coupons for hugs, kisses and poems. She sang me songs, wrote me stories, and secretly recorded little love messages for me on the iPad.

"Mommy. I love you more than you can know. You make me feel like sunshine," she whispered covertly.

Julie---thank you for making me a Mommy.

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

 
 

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