There are moments when I catch glimpses of the mother I used to be. The one I was when I had one baby. The one I was when I was more frequently in a good mood or less stressed out. The goofy one who sang silly made-up songs. The one who danced with a baby on her hip till her legs gave out. The one who wasn’t so beat down she just tried to get through her day. The one who could spend time with her children rather than refereeing them.
I see her in the smiles of my children. The looks of surprise. The glances at each other and back at me before cracking up. The silly giggles that roll from their bellies and out through their lips.
I see myself in the mirror and I see a girl child who somehow ended up in charge of three of her own. A girl who still sees herself as growing and learning. A girl who still wonders at the dynamics of her own mother/daughter relationship as she builds ones up with her three.
Will they see me for who I am? A person, who in motherhood and life, often makes it up as she goes along. Someone who loves them fiercely, but wonders how she loses herself from time to time. And who opens her eyes from time to time to see the true incarnation of who she’s supposed to be – to them and herself.
Yes, the image will change. The lines will deepen, the colors fade. But it should only be a deepening, not a swallowing, a sinking. The original image is in there somewhere. A fire in the eye, a shape, a sparkle of laughter.
How do I flow gracefully into the deep while allowing the light bubbles of my past to filter through? How do I get from the beginning to the end and honor both all the way through? How do I reconcile the woman and mother I’ve always wanted to be with the being I’ve become?