Before we had kids we were really good at us

Before we had kids we were really good at us

I’m a mom.
It is who and what I am now.

I am Mom.
I wipe noses, butts and tears. I hold hands in parking lots and tie shoes in every aisle of the grocery store. I pick up toys, step on toys, pick up toys and yell at toys. I make dinner, pick dinner up off of the floor and do the dishes. I buy the clothes, pick out the clothes and I wash the clothes.

I am Mama.
I give in to the pleading eyes that want to read one more book. I fall victim to the smile that begs to stay up a little bit later to play a few more rounds of tackle in the living room and the little tug at my pant leg that wants to be held. I soften at the change of tone that my two littles know will always get them what they want and I forgive a temper tantrum with a single I’m sorry.

I am Mommy.
I sleep in rocking chairs with them when their little noses can’t breathe through their own colds at night. I am the neck they bury their heads in when they are sad and the person who steals them out of the arms of whoever picked them up after a bad fall because I know I can make it better with a hug and a kiss. I calm nerves and rub backs and sing songs at 2:00 in the morning when they have tummy aches.

I am a mom.
It’s who I am and what I do.
I mom all day long…even when I’m not momming.
From the moment I earned that title, it became impossible to not be changed by it.
In every decision I made from that moment on, there was a new person influencing me. No matter how big or how small, I am completely incapable of making a decision without those two little humans of mine floating around in my head.

I read an article tonight that made me stop and think.

How right this girl was.
What if a section of those birthing classes was devoted to a little friendly reminder of how you got there in the first place.
No, not that.
I’m talking about the two people who decided to start that family…the two people who you were before you decided to become more.

You hear people tell you it is important to focus on your relationship and to not neglect it because, after all, without the two of you there wouldn’t be the rest of them.
You respectfully listen, but you know in your heart that it’s not going to happen to you two.
Yes, you know that your life is going to be forever changed when you have a baby. You know that there will be a new focus and a new objective and a new form of “entertainment,” but you aren’t going to lose focus because you are just in sync. And while all relationships have their moments, those moments have made you stronger and pulled you closer so yes…this will be a  new and rocky experience but you’ll fall into a grove with some sort of ease soon enough.
It’s just what you do.

And you are right.
You figure it out.
And just as soon as you do, the feeding schedule changes, the work schedule changes, the teeth start growing in, the holidays roll around…
Your system is constantly changing in a never ending cycle of trial and error (and probably more error).
You have frustrating days and you blame the shortcomings of the other every now and then…but that misplaced exhaustion fades and you just keep powering through in a sometimes together and sometimes separate kind of way.
You have successes and failures, and you help each other out.

You go on a few dates a year and you have shows that you DVR and watch together because it gives you something to talk about other than kids, work or bills. You send quick text messages with updates on the kiddos and send pictures and quick videos of whatever adorablness took place when they weren’t there and honestly, it’s a good thing you do that because by the time the end of the day rolls around and you are able to talk without being interrupted, you don’t feel like talking at all.
And in the event that you did feel like talking, there is a 50/50 chance that you would have forgotten what you wanted to say in the first place and a 100% chance that if you remembered you would probably never get to the end of the story because every sentence you start reminds you of something else you wanted to say.

So you keep each other generally informed and you follow up date nights with “we need to do this more often,” because it is really awesome to feel what it is like to just be with them and nobody else for just a minute but then it ends up being such a freaking hassle to coordinate schedules with each other and a family member or a baby sitter and an availability of funds in the checking account than it seems to be worth once the awesomeness of the two of you time is.

The beauty of the article that sparked this whole thing, is that it made me remember things that I am just too busy to remember now.

I have been with this man since we were sixteen year old kids.
We have been together almost half of our lives, yet I know more about what the two sleeping little munchkins upstairs did today than I sometimes know about his week.

I need to cherish the nights like tonight when we sat at the kitchen table talking about the dysfunction of our work days and nothing any more deep than that.

I used to care when he was coming home because I cared when he was coming home, not because I needed to know if I had to make dinner or if I could get by with eggs and yogurt and blueberries (again).
I still care that he is home and I’m so much happier when he is around…but I have shit to get done whether he is there or not…so sometimes I power through it all without even noticing. Sometimes it just all goes so fast and is so systematic that I miss those conversations even when they are happening.

I have always been a writer.
Yes, I am a documenter of moments to a fault. Since my kids have been born, I have documented so much of their lives in pictures and words that I don’t really know what to do with it all…and my oldest one is only 4. I have written countless letters to them, blogs about them and little notes to myself on amazing things they did or said that I want to remember.

But before I wrote to, for and about them, I wrote to, for and about someone else.
I left notes in the JanSport of that sixteen year old boy. I wrote journals upon journals during the fantastically awesome and colossally bad college years that we survived together. I filled notebooks with words that have not ever been read and took thousands of pictures at countless ballparks from the day he left for that first spring training to the night of the very last pitch of his very last game. I wrote him a letter to read the night before we got married and I have never given him a card that had less than 100 words scribbled inside.

Before we were the four of us, we were the two of us.
Before there was them there was him.
And he was who my words were for.

So tonight I’m throwing one his way.
Tonight I want him to know that I remember why I loved him then.
I love him for a billion different reasons now, and I might have a tendency to point out what I don’t love a little more than what I do, but…
But I still love him for sitting through incredibly long pom competitions in high school and for entertaining himself by sending dedications to the smart schools on their good grades instead of just sending a “good luck” message to my squad. And I still love him for buying me all of the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC CDs as soon as they came out. For loving me through every dumb move and for always knowing the person I was and could be. For taking ridiculously cheesy senior pictures with me and for the 500 trips to Hobby Lobby as I was planning our wedding. For making fun of me when I couldn’t make fun of myself, for making up songs so I could remember the Supreme Court Justices for our Constitution test and for not letting me cheat off of him in pre-calc even when our teacher told me I should consider it.
There are a billion stupid, silly and what seemed at the time insignificant reasons I love him…even though there’s not really much time to remember any of them right now.

For you, it is probably something else. Words may not be your thing, but something is was and it actually probably seemed insignificant at the time…but it wasn’t.
Because without all of the things that you don’t have time to remember every day anymore, your crazy hectic mind numbing days of nose wiping, hand holding and tiny little faces staring at you with all of the love in their hearts would have never been possible.

(And to the amazing author of the article that made me stop for a few…thank you from the bottom of my crazy full heart).



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