Saturday, September 26, 2009

9

As you may have noticed if you've ever scrolled down enough, I have tickers on my home page here. Each of the kids has one, and they all chose their background and character. All of them but AJ, that is. He doesn't yet care about things like that. A few days after I posted the tickers for the kids, I decided to add one for me. Not for my birthday, but for something else. Something that I started keeping track of a few years ago. Something I started keeping track of when someone asked me about it. Until then, I hadn't thought much about it.

My ticker keeps a running tab on the time I have spent fully enthralled in the physical joy of motherhood. The time I have spent either pregnant or nursing. And the time I have spent doing both. Minus about 3 weeks in 2007, it's been a constant in my life for the past 9 years. I hit that milestone yesterday. It's been a long time since I was the only person in my body.

When you start to do the math for things like this, it's a bit shocking. 9 years. That is a long time. A really long time. I think of all the times I have been unable to go somewhere or do something because a baby needed me. All the baseball and football games I missed. The concerts I had a ticket to but never saw. The trips canceled. The drinks skipped.

Sure, I would have liked to have seen that U2 concert. I would have loved to see the last Padres opening day we lived in San Diego for. The Broncos made the playoffs and I spent hours on the computer and on the phone to get tickets. We ended up selling my ticket, since I didn't get to use it. The baby at home back then wouldn't take a bottle.

I have spent endless nights lying on one side whether out of necessity from a pregnant belly or out of convenience to nurse a baby. My arms have fallen asleep, my neck has been sore more times than I could count from lying in the same position for too long.

9 years is a long time. I've missed out on a lot over the years. But what I have been doing instead is better. Much better. I have nourished and loved and rocked and fed. I have cuddled and snuggled. I have watched my babies grow. I have helped my babies grow. I have smelled the sweet scent of a baby's breath. I have cherished the knees and elbows of a child, whether they were nudging me from the inside or beside me.

Motherhood isn't about what you don't get to do. It isn't about the sacrifices that you make. The things you give up. The places you don't get to go. Motherhood is about what you are doing. It's the growing and nurturing of a miracle. Nothing else could ever top that. I've been doing it for 9 years and counting...

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