Over at Feminist Mormon Housewives, Tess is not sure if she wants to give up her carefree, child-free life. I can't blame her for feeling a little gun-shy. We gripe a lot, we moms of young kids. And we have good reason. There's a lot to gripe about.
I spent a long time wanting to be a mom without really knowing why. We adopted our first son after 6 years of marriage. He was a demanding, fussy baby, going through withdrawals from his birthmom's nicotine habit. He was beautiful and we had a lot of fun and happy moments, but it was hard. I was mostly sustained by the euphoria of having achieved motherhood at last.
21 months later we adopted again. Our second baby was happy, easygoing and fun. But suddenly it hit me how exhausted I was, how much I had lost. It was like I suddenly looked up and realized I was in a dark tunnel. It took me another year, at least, to see the light at the end of it. Another year after that to get to the end of it, and another one to recover from the whole tunnel experience.
My kids are now almost 4 and almost 6.
As of two days ago, my kindergartner is officially reading. He read me "Green Eggs and Ham" in his early-reader, halting, sometimes-guessing, sometimes-sounding-out style. I asked him if he wanted to take a break and have me read a page. He shook his head and kept going. I would go through all the hell of infancy and toddlerhood again just to experience that heart-busting joy.I would go through it all again for the ego boost created by a 4-year-old peeking around the corner of the playhouse at preschool, then running full-speed toward me to leap into my arms with the biggest hug his little muscles can muster.
Or the daily sweetness of a small, warm person creeping into my bed at 6 a.m. for snuggles before the day begins.
For a Mother's Day card covered with the letter A, the 4-year-old's main skill, over and over.
For a child who is almost as excited as I am that there's going to be a Narnia movie.
For watching a little brown body, naked on the green grass, playing in the water from the garden hose. Or, clothed, spending an hour digging in the dirt.
For a small-voiced prayer that I'll feel better when I'm down with strep, as I was this week.
Yep, I think it's worth it.