Well, twenty plus nine months because I was the pregnant woman who already felt like a parent. I got a gender and a name to the pounding feet inside of me as soon as the technology would permit it. I planned for and prepared for that precious first girl and felt motherly from the moment the maroon line appeared on the test saying I had a new life within me.
And then little girl number two came along seventeen months later. Within three months of baby Rosalie’s birth, we moved.
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind and I’d love to blame my moods, irritation, and lack of an imagination on the 5:45 AM wake up calls from a hungry hippo-of-a-baby who has more rolls than Pillsbury and really shouldn’t need to get up that early to add to them, should she? I want to say I’ve been a tiresome, boring, and frustrated mother because I have to clear a path through boxes and have piles with mementos dating back to the 1980s that needed to be sorted – and… Did you put that in the hall closet, honey? I have to get at that every day! Why on earth are we saving the Mountain Dew bottles from your college days again?
Regardless of what I blame it on, this really isn’t the mother I wanted to be. The mother who stands in the toy area of Ikea while her toddler plays, staring vacantly at her and leaning tiredly and heavily on the shopping cart trying to avoid looking at the baby’s face in the carrier – knowing she’s going to campaign for a diaper change if eye contact is made.
I haven’t been at this mother business for long, but I’ve already forgotten some of the things I planned on doing.
The person I planned on being.
The memories I wanted to make.
Wishing the moving to be done, wishing the Terrible… One-and-a-Halfs? to be over, wishing any of this time away is something I never do. Ever.
And yet, I sure live like it some times.
I’m not finding a lot of things funny these days. I’m picking too many battles and not being forgiving for the ones I do duke out, even if I win. I’ve almost forgotten how to crack a joke or play like a kid. And believe me – playing is something I’ve always done well, and promised myself I would continue to do!
Because I woke up one morning, the sound of children in the daycare next to my apartment crying their heads off reminding me that I chose to keep my adorable and impressionable girls with me all day for a reason, I realized I’d simply been forgetting all of the things I wanted to be, do, and never do.
So I wrote this list. It’s on the back of my bedroom door so I have to see it every morning before I leave my room. It’s called “Things to Never Forget”:
♥ Spend time with the Lord every day
♥ Read the Bible to them – practice verses
♥ Sing at least one hymn a day
♥ Pray with them all throughout the day
♥ Laugh, and don’t sweat the small stuff
♥ Never get angry
♥ Play pretend – be the mom that gets into the McDonald’s playground
♥ Write in each of their journals
♥ Everyone needs some fresh air and exercise
♥ Greet Brad at the door with a smile, hug, and a kiss
♥ Be goofy and get a little crazy with all of them!
♥ Love and forgive instantly and forever
And, with the jolt like a shock collar that I gave that sleepy memory of mine, in an act of Instant Love, I decided we were going to put the wings on to unpack today.