By: Shannon Ralph
This morning I had one of those overwhelming, God-I-absolutely-adore-my-children mommy moments. You know what I am talking about, right? For the most part, they drive me insane. Truly, they do. They drive me to depths of derangement that I just know will one day inevitably result in a straight jacket and a large needle in rear end.
Since having children, my life is no longer my own. Gone are the days of spur of the moment trips to the movie theater. Gone are the days of weekends away. And my private stash of Oreo cookies. Gone are the days of romantic dinners out. And sex on the living room couch. And we might as well use the bathroom door for firewood because there is NO privacy in my house. I am sure many of you can relate. My children have changed my life in numerous ways that I would just as soon change back.
Of course, there are wonderful aspects to having children, as well. There are moments that take your breath away. There are moments that fill you with such pride you feel as though you may burst. And there are peaceful moments—few and far between, but they exist—where you find yourself saying a quiet prayer thanking God for the abundance of joy you have in your life. This morning was one of those quiet moments.
My children have a longstanding and deeply ingrained habit of coming to my bedroom during the night. Since I am a sound sleeper and my partner’s side of the bed is closest to the door, I often miss their middle-of-the-night arrivals. I wake every morning to find a new and exciting hodge-podge of human and canine arms and legs strewn around my room and across my person. This morning, I woke to find my six-year-old son, Nicholas, lying practically on top of me. He had one arm wrapped around my neck and his face was on my pillow, a mere inch or so from my face. Luckily, he was sleeping with his mouth closed. He has morning dragon breath that can easily bring a 200-pound man to his knees. This morning, however, I was lucky enough to forgo his treacherous halitosis.
As I awoke earlier than need be, I lay there for a little while simply watching Nicholas. Watching him breathe. Watching his eyes move around behind closed eyelids—wondering what he dreams about when he sleeps. I listened to his little grunts. Felt the full weight of his arm around my neck. I marveled at his perfectly smooth skin. Kissed his sweet cheeks. I smiled at the blonde hair that stood up in cow-licked chaos all over his head. I breathed in his intoxicating scent—a sweet amalgam of cotton and sweat and apple juice and Fruit Roll-Ups unique to Nicholas. My Nicholas.
I made him. My body created—from scratch—this amazing little human being. This funny, quirky, freakishly intelligent, sensitive, cuddly little creature. How did I ever get so lucky as to be his mother? What did I ever do in my life to deserve this little arm around my neck at 5:30 in the morning? How can I ever sufficiently thank the universe
Sometimes being a mommy is freaking amazing.