Tender, tough, and strong

IMG_3872No one reads this blog. Really, I have no idea why I keep writing for it. I guess some idealistic optimistic part of me overrides my more pessimistic self. When I see something that wells me up with tears, I think, I have to share this with my kids in the future. I have to give this to my daughters for when they have babies of their own. My realistic hypochondriac freaks me out with worry that I may not be here for them forever. What if they are new moms feeling totally overwhelmed and I am not here to tell them it will all be o.k? I won’t be able to say: “Look, you survived me. Your baby(ies) will survive you. I promise.”

When they look at their baby(ies) they are going to feel such an overabundance of pride and equal trepidation. They are going to wonder how in the world they can ever be a worthy enough mom. I want to be there to assure them that this is totally normal. I will gently break the news: This feeling isn’t just there for infancy. It will never go away.

When their baby goes off to kindergarten, they (like me) may sit at home praying all day that no one will molest their child.

When their own little girl is all messy and tear-stained with her first real big-girl problem in some social situation, I know they will be the kind of mom that will listen and be strong. They’ll give hugs and help find solutions. They will do their darndest to not cry where their daughter can see them because they won’t want to upset her any more than she already will be. But, it’ll be o.k. to sneak away and bawl in her bathroom at the earliest convenience.

Then when their kid’s first real flaw shows up. A flaw that they know they personally gifted upon their child, they will have sleepless nights petitioning God to take it away. They’ll remind him: “We had a deal! You said I could be mom if I loved the kid the best I knew how. You know I have, now, you better give my baby the perfection she deserves.”

They’ll be there to scream too loud at the athletic events, annoyingly photograph every detail, and they’ll dutifully feed this child ’til they are 18. (even if they – like me – only really cook dinner)

They’ll endure the “I hate you’s” and the “it’s all your faults” and the “If only’s”.

They’ll have “the talk” even if they won’t want to and they’ll cling for dear life when their child gets their permit to drive.

Most of all they’ll love in a way they never knew was possible.

Just like Garth Brooks says, I know they’ll be tender, tough, and strong.

If, by some really drastic turn of events, I’m not there to tell them this when it’s their time to be mom, I want to tell them now. Don’t worry baby. Mothering is instinctual. Just follow your heart, love your baby, and everything will be just fine. I hope they will feel like, in many ways, they are just like their mom. Not because I’m perfect, but because I love my children perfectly.

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