June 1, 2014

My Favorite Picture (and duty) of All Time

I began motherhood with such confidence, assurance, and joy. I felt a great nobility in my calling as a mother. I had known my entire life that I wanted to be a mother- exclusively. Pregnancy came quickly and easily, and I loved practically every minute of it. I fell in love with my baby girl before she was here: had her name chosen, her nursery made up, her stroller put together- everything was raring to go. There were rocky days here and there, but for the most part, every stage with Ellie was sheer bliss.
I expected to grow my family as easily as it had begun but over time discovered some bumps in the road. First I got pregnant for the second time and miscarried shortly thereafter. Then my following pregnancy with Lorenzo was a bit more eventful with worrisome blood platelet levels and spotting. I felt much more "pregnant" than I had when I carried Ellie, but I still thought that having two children would be just as natural, blissful, and "easy" as having one.
Lorenzo's first five or ten minutes of life were spent screaming. He was traumatized by the labor and delivery, but I think he just had his final fuss, got it out of his system, and has basically not uttered a peep of discontent since. He is the easiest, happiest, most joyful baby. I had a remarkable recovery from my delivery and things were off on the best foot. And then, out of the blue and all of a sudden, I was getting Lorenzo, Ellie, and myself ready for Lorenzo's two-week check-up and hell broke loose in my innocent, young mothering world. Ellie threw a crazy tantrum as I tried to do her hair- the first manifestation of her terrible two's, I lost my temper and yelled at her- my fuse so short with the inadequate amount of sleep I had been getting, and after that, things never seemed to be as consistently "blissful" or "easy" as they had been before.
Tantrums have become a somewhat regular thing, losing my temper has also occurred more than I'd like to admit, and although some days when my now three-year-old is throwing a maniacal tantrum I long and cry for "easy" days, "easy" times, and an "easier" dynamic in our relationship, I realize that the bliss, the perfection, and the really, really hard can actually coexist really well together. Being a mom of two young babies has been more exhausting and exasperating than I anticipated.
I have to figuratively slap myself on a continual basis to bring myself back to the present moment, to realize what a freaking miracle it is to have these two awe-inspiring little spirits growing like weeds before my eyes, and to remember that they aren't going to be bathing with me, crying for me, or calling out "Mommy!" for me forever. I have to slap myself to stop checking my instagram while my kids play, and instead, actually play and be with them. I have to slap myself to realize that there is a season for everything, and that although I can't keep my house clean with any sort of ease, spend hours (or thirty un-interrupted consecutive minutes) working in my garden, or spend time persuing interests like yoga and pilates without two toddlers hanging off my downward dog, their precious faces aren't going to long for my gaze, their chubby hands for mine, or their ears for my lullabies forever. I am blown away that they love me so fully. Sometimes I wish Ellie wouldn't love me for a little while just so I had some room to breathe for a minute.;)  But ultimately, the challenge, the difficulty, and the exasperation just continue to bind and weld my heart to theirs. We are one in the same- me and my two babies. 
They are my world.
I will never stop being in awe of them. They keep me on my toes, and they bring me to my knees in desperation, tears, triumph, and gratitude. They are incredible, fiercesome little souls. I love them more than there are stars in the sky, and I always, always will.
(And this, for now, is my favorite picture of all time. Taken when Lorenzo was about 1-2 months old.)

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