These days, I have found my own cheering section. When I walk through the door at my mom's house, little feet run to me and scream with glee. These are the faces that greet me:
It's amazing what those smiles can do for a person. I'll even admit that they're better than a cupcake topped with frosting. I feel like my self esteem jumps a notch every time they scream because they are excited to see me. And my added bonus, they cry big tears when I leave. That, my friends, can really fill your love bucket.
I've realized over the last year, that I take more time to sit, watch and soak in all that these babies do. I find that I can't remember sitting and soaking in my own girls when they were this age. Why, I wonder? Did I not take the time to let each stage take hold in my memories? Or, was I simply just too tired to have the energy to take a mental picture of each milestone? I think my answer might be hidden in the day-to-dayness of surviving life when your kids are little.
I have come to accept where I am at this moment. I'm settled with the fact that my kids get excited, even now, when Todd arrives. Yet, no one shouts joy when they arrive home from school and find me where I always am--here. I remain the one, true thing that doesn't change. I don't leave, and show back up hours later (even though I want to). I am the constant. I am here. Without fanfare, or cheers, or applause. I remain steady, because of my love for them:
Motherhood has an endless list of challenges. But one of the hardest is not being recognized. No one seems to see what we do. No one expresses appreciation for the work we silently accomplish day after day. No one squeals when we walk through the door. But yet, we have the greater prize. We are the constant. The foundation. We remain here, ever present. Not for ourselves, but for these people we are bound to with love.
Maybe one of our biggest hills to climb, is to find a way to keep on being exactly what they need....their constant. Days and years will pass, and I will look back and I won't be able to remember their stages or what they were like at each age. But I won't forget that I was there. With them. Right where I will always be.