This year I will celebrate my 8th Mother's Day. So much has changed in those eight short years. So much good. So much fear. So much happiness. So much wonder and awe. So much that words cannot describe. Being a mother means so much to me.
I was thirty years old when my much anticipated daughter, Molly, was born. I had been a type 1 diabetic for over twenty years when Molly arrived. I was so scared. I was so fearful that something would go wrong. I don't know if it was because of the diabetes or because I am one of those people that cannot just relax and enjoy things. I have to worry. But after a long pregnancy, filled with many ultrasounds, tests and treating the whole experience like a full-time job, Molly became my daughter. My first born. She was a little late, very healthy and a bundle of bliss. Worry should have disappeared, but it never really did. I wasn't a "natural" with a newborn. I had a hard time with the no sleep thing. I didn't feel the bond at feeding time. I struggled with diapers and spit up. I beat myself up a little bit because it didn't all come naturally to me. But then I looked at that beautiful, chunky pink face and listened to her coo and watched her smile up at me...and everything started to click. My daughter taught me what being a mother was all about.
My daughter is now 7 1/2. She teaches me each and every day about the joy that lives in motherhood. She amazes me. She makes me smile. I see myself in her. I see my husband's smile and silly sense of humor in her each day. I see all the reasons I became a mother. I am filled with pride when I look at this little girl I helped shape. I cherish the relationship she and I have developed. It is one of respect, love and even friendship.
In 2008, I became a mother again. A little boy was born. A little boy who would change my whole life in so many ways. He would change the way I looked at motherhood. He would change the way I worried. He would change the way I counted milestones. He would teach me about patience, faith and truly appreciating life's precious, little moments. My son Brady, who has a very rare chromosome duplication that has left him nonverbal, hypotonic and with multiple developmental delays and anomalies, has tested my belief in many things, including my ability as a mother.
The road of motherhood has been so different with Brady than with my daughter. I've had to work harder than I knew possible to give him all that he needs. I have had to love harder than I knew possible to get through the challenging days. I have had to learn how to let go of fear and believe a little bit in fate. I have had to learn how to redefine success. But with all the challenges this journey has given me with Brady, the rewards have been so great. I have felt the thrill of first steps, when I wasn't sure they would come. I have learned that "I love yous" do not have to be in the form of words, they can come in hugs or eyes that talk to you. I have been touched by this little boy in more ways than I could ever detail. He has taught me about more than just motherhood. He has taught me about life and how to never give up on any dream, any fight and anything you want to achieve. He has showed me that a smile can melt away fears and doubts and fill your heart so full, you think it might burst.
My children have made motherhood a job I am honored to have. They have taught me so many life lessons in their few short years. As I get ready to celebrate another Mother's Day with my beautiful family, I am thankful for two children, who, despite being so different in so many ways, have something very special in common. They are both little teachers. They have both taught me to believe in the power of unconditional love. My children love me despite my fears, my insecurities and my poor cooking. They have carved out their own little paths on this long road of motherhood. I am proud of all they have accomplished, both big and small. I am in awe of the incredibly kind, and protective young girl my daughter has become. I am amazed each and every day as I watch my little boy accomplish little things that I never imagined he would be able to do. I am honored to be called "mom" and I celebrate all that makes me a mom....my children.
As I celebrate Mother's Day with my own family, I wish each and every mother, especially those with special needs children, who give so much of themselves, in order to watch their little ones soar into amazing young people who take their breath away, the very happiest of Mother's Days.