Wednesday, August 01, 2012

There is a surreal dream that floats around your mind when you are pregnant with your first child. You envision slow, sweet cuddles in the rocking chair in the middle of the night. Gentle coos while playing on the floor. And just being overfilled with joy at being a mom. You can't wait.

I remember my mother-in-law sent me a cd of various lullabies when I was pregnant with Cannon and I cried listening to it. I was so filled with anticipation and joy at getting to cuddle him and sing those sweet, sweet songs over him.

But then the baby came. The reality of sleepless nights set it. The sheer pain of the unending newborn cry took it's toll.  The deep, deep longing to take a hot shower was overwhelming. And the dream faded. The joy turned into "no one told me how hard this was." And I forgot. I forgot the crazy beauty of holding my child.

Life became even more of a blur with the second. I feel like just yesterday I was swaddling his little newborn body and today he's a chunky seven month old bouncing in the jumparoo and sitting up. Did I snuggle him enough? Am I soaking up these moments enough?

We've been turning off the Olympics today and listening to these beautiful lullabies, and I have been transported. I am reminded that these children are such a gift. That to sit on the floor and read one more book is not a burden. That they won't fit in my lap much longer. That even the sleepless nights are beautiful and fleeting.

Funny, how a few simple melodies brought back the surreality that is my wonderful life. How, I'm no longer naive in thinking motherhood would be all cuddles and picture books and smiles and giggles, but how I love my boys more than I could have ever imagined.

I'm glad you can't understand just how hard motherhood is going to be before it happens. So what if a soon-to-be mother doesn't yet know that having a newborn is slightly akin to being hit by a ton of bricks . . . every day for the rest of your foreseeable future.  I think every mom-to-be should get to bask in her dreams, in her hopes, in her anticipation and excitement of rocking her baby to sleep. Everyone should get to be so full of life and anticipation.

Because life with a child is so full.

When you take a moment to stop and look your child in the eyes you begin to realize your dreams are no longer dreams, but a gorgeous reality staring right back at you. And you realize that your hopes where not so unrealistic after all.

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