Sometimes, when we’re out for a walk, you with your pink furry blanket and me still without a shower or make-up, I think back to what my life looked like before your Daddy and I had you. And even the time before that.
I used to work in an office, for nine years, baby girl. I casually ate my breakfast at my computer, scanning through emails and planning meetings for the day. I had colleagues, worked on important projects, and had a voice in the corporate world.
I used to wear high heels, wash my hair every day, shop a lot more for myself, and watch and listen to whatever I wanted, without a concern for how it affected those around me. I used to grocery shop with only me in mind, rarely baking or having leftovers.
I used to travel, and live abroad. Proudly earning stamps in my passport like a grade-school girl waiting to get her gold star. I learned train routes in foreign languages, stayed with strangers and felt scared and brave at the same time. I tasted culture with unbridled enthusiasm, just waiting for my next adventure to unfold.
I used to spend uninterrupted minutes and hours with God, whenever I wanted. Often out of duty than necessity. Grace was a foreign concept, I just knew I needed the Word, so I read and prayed, checking off the minutes like a pat on the back.
I used to be lonely at church, and in public in general, knowing there was some part of me that was yet to become; a wife, a mother, a homemaker. I used to dream of you and your Daddy long before I knew either of you. I’d lie in bed at night, pining for my future and what it would look like. Somehow, I assumed it was sweeter than where I was.
But you know what dear girl? Those days were sweet. They were God-given days. Days of waiting, trusting, and learning to manage life for one. Days of growing and adventure. Now?
A new adventure. A new kind of sweet.
Now I get to be at home with you all day; Daddy works very hard to ensure that. Showered or not, I’m usually in my “comfy clothes” as I squeeze in 10 minutes of exercise as you amusingly watch me. I now get to enjoy quiet mornings listening to your stories; as your language develops, the gibberish you speak with melts my heart. I crack eggs and pick up peanut butter toast off the floor as the morning milk drips from your mouth. I get to sit and eat breakfast with you instead of at my desk, alone. Now we get to play at the park; I witness your personality unfold as you make new friends wherever we go.
Now, I constantly worry, ‘er wonder, if what I do for you and your Daddy is enough, and if you are eating enough protein and veggies and if we’re sticking to our budget. Being pregnant again, I feel like I think about food all day long. Now, I do laundry for three, never wear heels, steel moments with Jesus, my laptop and a coffee to pen out whatever words feel inspired.
Now, I have a new smile. One that you gave me, and one your Daddy sewed on my heart. Like a forever passport, my growing family is my home. Now, I don’t have to rush off to work from 8:30-4:30; a gift. I get to watch your early days – nurturing them like a garden. And some day, I will tell you all about them.
My have to’s have become get to’s.
Now I understand God’s grace, just a little bit more. Now I understand that my forced minutes with Him was me unnecessarily begging for a love I already had. I try to taste and lean in to that grace every day; to receive what is already mine. Life with you and your Daddy has taught me that. Just receive, girl.
Now, I am a part of this motherhood tribe that I never knew existed, but welcomed me with open arms. Now I get to have a voice about different things – worthy things like family and parenting.
And now I see that dreams do come true; in time. They’re often a lot more work than the ones in my head were. But darling? They are oh so worth it. You are worth it.
Somehow our “used to” and “I now” collide in time and make us in to what God planned all along. He the refining Potter, I the clay. And I am amazed at all the things I didn’t know, and have yet to learn.
Darling, I used to dream of making things happen. Now, I get to watch grace make them happen.
And even better, I used to dream of my life with your little life, and now I get to watch it. Be a part of it.
And I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.
Love you forever, Mamma.