As I sit here on Mother’s Day, I keep coming back to one thought… If I could feel one emotion for the rest of my days, it wouldn’t be happiness. It wouldn’t be love – the giving or the receiving kind. It wouldn’t be lightness or joy. It would be gratitude.
And I am feeling an overwhelming amount of gratitude today.
Gratitude is the only way I know how to make the gears of motherhood slow down, perhaps even grinding to a halt for a split second, just long enough for me to see this life through the eyes of a much younger version of myself, with less crow’s feet and zero concerns of pinched nerves, who could only dream of so much love.
Gratitude is the beginning and the end.
It’s the feeling of waking up to my rambunctious boy nestled next to me in my bed, his little body taking up more room than makes sense, his eyes closed and his breath steady.
It’s my heart swelling watching my 6 year old stand proud in a crowded gym, singing a song about summer and marshmallows with abandon in front of strangers, her eyes searching for mine in the crowd and her joy causing her to stumble the words as our gaze locks.
It’s the sight of my 8 year old drawing at her desk, her purple hair tucked behind her ear, creating something only she can, with her wild talent and boundless imagination.
It’s the sound of the garage door opening and my husband’s voice, loud and joyous, reaching the high ceilings and filling the rooms of our house and making it feel even more like home. It’s his arms wrapped around my waist, the stubble on his face scratchy on my cheek as he leans down to kiss me.
It’s the click clack of my Australian Labradoodle’s claws on our wood floor as I write this.
And yes, on days like today, I can even find gratitude in the dirty dishes piled next to the kitchen sink, the piles of laundry waiting to be washed, folded and put away and the random toothbrush on the stairs, all remnants of a full house, a full life.
I want to bottle up these moments of staggering gratitude so I can drink them in later, when I’m bone tired and hollow from the relentless needing and “mommy, mommy, mommy” refrain that echoes in my head long after my kids fall into a safe, sweet slumber.
So, I will keep coming back to this post and these words.
I will leave them here for you, too, in times when the needing is too much and you feel forgotten in the chaos.
I see you, mama.
And I’m grateful for you.