Please welcome Heidi, today’s amazing submission writer! Heidi is a mom, a wife, a triathlete, and a blogger who writes to make sense of those prior labels. She blogs regularly at Love Each Step.
I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I gave Pacey a hug last night. It still surprises me that I am old enough to be a mom. Sometimes I feel less than equipped to guide these three, amazing beings. Sometimes I wonder what they will remember of their childhoods. The good, the sad, the light moments. How will I shape them, change them, create their realities as they grow?
I hope they remember. I hope they remember the snuggles. The hugs. The kisses. I hope Pacey always remembers our quiet mornings when he used to crawl into bed with me. My sleepy Linus, his blue blanket dragging behind, his eyes still heavy with sleep. I hope Gage always remembers rocking at our beach house. His sweet head resting on my chest as the passing cars’ rhythmic lullabies sang us to sleep and healed our broken hearts.
I often frantically search my memory for the last of these moments: the last morning snuggles, the final time in the rocking chair. But I can’t find them. They have slowly fallen away. Quietly resting, blending into one collective memory: a gentle, natural progression.
I know she won’t remember, but I hope Rowan carries the security, the attachment of nursing, so it always nourishes her soul. Like Pacey’s snuggles and Gage’s rocking, I want the last time to be unmemorable: the image, the feeling just beyond our grasp.
Woven into these magical moments are the everyday. The baseline. The seemingly mundane experiences that fill in the gaps. I cherish these, too. So when they are grown and parents themselves and search their memories, they find an undistracted, engaged mom who valued this fleeting time of childhood. I hope they remember games of Uno, fun in the pool, movie nights, camping trips, baking cupcakes. Walks to the park and a little more ice cream than is necessary.
And then there are those less than perfect moments. Those moments I used to be ashamed of, used to hide. Moments when I’ve lost my patience, I’ve yelled, I’ve disconnected. Moments when I’ve lost sight of my purpose in parenting, drowning in the vast, overwhelming world of single motherhood or life with three kids. I hope they remember these, too. To see that parenting is not perfect. It’s messy and tattered around the edges, but bound by a strong thread, a love so great, it can move to tears. I hope it inspires them, creates in them a desire to live better. To be like me and yet to be better than I have been.