I cherish my children. Even when they drive me crazy. Even when I simultaneously wish for more and less time in the day. Even when I am up all night, unable to sleep because they cause me so much angst. They were different when they were babies. Once they got a little older, once they tipped the scales into self-sufficiency, once they were potty trained, sleep trained, pouring their own juice and wiping their own chins, they started to pull away just a little bit, and that’s the scariest of all.
It is the epitome of irony, motherhood. If you do the best job possible, you’ll make independent kids. Kids who want to leave you. I know this, even if I don’t want to accept it. And no child understands the enormity of being a parent, or of being a mother, until she is one. How you feel for a long time like you are holding a tiny fragile thing, until one day, and only if you are lucky, it holds you back. How you feel lost and found at the same time. How you are tired to the marrow, and alive like new. How you feel as full and complete as you have ever felt possible, with the worry of the inevitable poking out at every corner. Taunting you.
As a mother, especially a mother of young children, I felt a heartbreaking love I never knew before. Because, somewhere, I know when it gets less hard, when I sleep more and don’t eat standing up, when my kids go to bed after me, my life will change, and I’m not sure I want it to.