Oh, I loved my babies. I loved their tiny, tiny fingernails and the rolls of chubby baby on their legs. I loved their thick, brown hair and the smell of the tops of their heads after bath time. I loved the way their eyes lit up when their daddy walked into the room and the smile of recognition when our eyes met in that deep, knowing way.
My babies were, and still are, my very great love.
But I was not patient. I was not gracious. I was not always kind.
I was selfish, impatient, and, yes, even mean at times.
I shudder to think about those early years as a mom--how the deep, deep chasm between my imagined life and my reality seemed never to be able to come together. How I never really felt like myself, comfortable in my own skin. How, for some inexplicable reason, I felt I should be doing this differently, better, and that I should be enjoying myself more.
I don't know why I thought about this today, except that babies have been on my mind lately. At least four women I know have had babies in the past three weeks, including my sister.
*Hi Gracie! Consider this your first blog shout out!*
(I'd really like to know what's in the water. Goodness! All the goodness lately!)
I wonder sometimes, being the person I am now, having been somewhat sanctified through the fires of motherhood, how would I be with an infant today? I'd like to think that I'd be more patient, more understanding, less selfish.
But let's face it, I'm me, and patience isn't really my strong suit.
Over the years, however, I hope that because of my experiences with my own children, I have become a different person, better, and, yes, even a little bit more holy.
I know I'm having more fun.
If I've taught my daughters anything, I hope I've taught them how to laugh. Our world is so serious, so big and self-important, that it's a gift, a rare thing, to be able to laugh, especially at ourselves.
And that is why I just had to chuckle over the Facebook wars going on between two of my girls today.
Here's what Julia shared with her big sister today: "Love you seester! (And I love your face :)"
And here's what Kate promptly replied: "payback"
(And, yes, that is the shape of an "L" on her forehead. Can you name the song?)
I've probably breached a thousand unwritten Facebook rules by sharing their posts, but I love that my girls can laugh with one another. Their shenanigans today reminded me that I have not completely failed.