Hey kids. I know it’s hard to believe, but I was alive a long time before I became your mom. Before I ever knew your names or what you would look like, before I knew your smell or your mischievous laughter, there was a woman who lived about three lifetimes to be ready. I don’t regret any of it. I won’t say I was miserable before you because I wasn’t. Not all the time. I just didn’t know what I was missing.
Before I was your mom, years ago, I worked a lot of years in a lot of buildings in the city. Including that one way on the left where some of the worst days of my life happened before I got sober. To see you two playing in the midst of so much history – both good and terrible – in our fair city, well, it makes my heart explode. To hear you point out DATS MAMA’S TOWER makes me swell with pride. I’ve worked in that Tower for so many years now and had I not had the opportunities they’ve given me, you two would absolutely not be here.
Before I was your mom, I was happy. I just didn’t know how ridiculously overjoyed I would become once you came along.
Before I was your mom, I was funny. I just had no idea how much more material you would provide to make me HILARIOUS.
Before I was your mom, I was in love. I just couldn’t conceive of the expanse and scope of my love for both your father and you until now.
Before I was your mom, I was sad. I’ve always been sad in some way, even when I unsuccessfully hid it. I’m still sad on some level. It’s just who I am. And that’s okay. I can choose to be happier and find the joy and gratitude, which I do almost every single day. I’ve filled the hole in my soul with goodness and service to others. But you brighten my sadness by a million rays of sunshine.
Before I was your mom, I was in pain, though I didn’t quite understand why. The pain of longing is indescribable. I see it in people every day and I understand it. Once you’ve felt that longing it never goes away, even when you get what you wished for.
Before I was your mom, I was in need of something more, though I didn’t know what that more was. I needed a bigger purpose. I’m not saying everyone needs or wants or should have kids. But I did. I do. And you’ve given me the greater purpose that I sought for so long without being able to name it. Kids didn’t solve my problems, just like marriage or relationships didn’t solve my problems. I’m still here. The common denominator. The problems are still here, they just evolve.
Before I was your mom, I was scared, though I didn’t know which part scared me the most. I was scared of everyone and everything for a long long time. I wasn’t ready for you a long time. I wasn’t ready for myself. I needed to do a lot of work and hopefully that keeps going forever. When the time finally came I was ready for you. No matter what you can’t be prepared, but you can be ready. I’m not scared anymore. I just do what needs to be done. I am just as worthy as anybody else and when I’ve got two people in my care at all times, well, screw fear.
Before I was your mom, I was thinner. Now that I’m your mom, I am more round and strong. My arms and legs are like barrels. Love and strength filled barrels that I wouldn’t trade for thin. I am able to leap buildings with a single bound due to my determination and will to keep you and other kids and anyone in danger safe. Just think of my belly as my cape. It flaps a little in the front instead of in the back but you get the gist. It’s a mom-cape. And it is stronger than any other super hero power you’ll ever read about.
Before I was your mom, I made a lot of mistakes. Life changing, dangerous, incredibly selfish mistakes. But I want you to know you can make a comeback. You can rise up and grab life and you can be amazed by what life brings your way. Your mistakes don’t have to define you. How you recover and how you live from this day on defines you.
Before I was your mom, I was always your mom. I was always so proud of you. I just hadn’t met you yet. Now I’m proud of all of us.
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