Even though you spent months waking me at 3am for a hug.
Even though you wake up scared and just need to sleep with us.
Even though there are things we do that only a parent can or should do or know about you.
Even though I have held your hair back while you were sick.
Even though on a dime, my whole schedule has to change for you, your needs.
Even though I spend most of my time telling you to separate and stop arguing over nothing.
Even though you spent three solid years crying, for no reason, no reason, and only at home, for no reason.
Even though our marriage went through seven years of fog.
Even though I always thought I was too busy, too important, too scared to become a mother, I did. I became your mom and I would do all of these things time and time and time again. And I wouldn't give it up.
I always remember what it was like before you, I do think of it as easier, because it definitely was, but I would not give up mothering you.
There are so many things I would do differently. I would have so much more kindness and grace. I would tell all mothers and fathers, everywhere and forever, that you are all doing it. It looks differently for all of us but we are all doing it. I will not tell a brand new mother how quickly it goes, because she's heard that before. I would give her some flowers and tell her to go take a shower and let her know it's okay to cry. Cry because you love them too much and because you're too tired and because you smell and because you don't know what happened to your body, and you don't know what is normal or not. I'll hold the baby, you go shower mama.
I would tell a new dad not to "be there", he already is, we have already rounded that corner. I would tell him to take care. Listen to her cry. listen to her needs and just listen. Take care and just listen.
I would remind babies that the first year is the most glorious and the amount of change is precious. I would remind babies that they need to slow down. Slow down little one, there is no rush, just slow down and let us breathe you in.
I would remind puppies that they are still so loved and cherished.
I would remind grandparents to be there and ask what is needed at that time.
I would remind employers to take it easy.
I would remind myself that I too am trying and learning and there is no figuring it out, it all just happens and I have to be there.
Something changed when you went to middle school Belle. I don't know what, I can't explain it. It didn't necessarily change in you, but it changed in me. Coupled with the pandemic and spending all of our time together, we found each other and our talks. This old soul with the youngest of hearts and innocence. I also see how you are trying to find your way and I see you trying to show off and step out of us when you're around friends, and I remind you of who we are, together, and it brings you back. I know that this is part of it, you needing to be bigger and larger and farther away, and the sass is part of it. But something about this time made us both really small too. Really close and a new chapter opened up for us.
This chapter is built on trust. It's built on forgiveness. It's built on talking. It's built on caring. It's built on remembering what really counts. And even though this is hard, and it's scary, and I'm still fumbling through, I would not trade this time. Keep talking Belle, I'm here.
And for you little man, you remind me of young and new, always have, always will. You are your father, you are Ferdinand, and I know Ferdinand. As your dad reminded me, I first met Ferdinand at 21, renting a movie. I met this huge lover of love and kindness. I met joy so innocent and loving that I could not help but melt. I met someone who took off my fighting gloves and warmed my hands. I know Ferdinand because I promised him it would always be us. And then, over a decade later, you came into our lives. Your purpose sweets is to remind the world of love and kindness and a sweet heart and caring and all of the emotions and all of the feels all of the time. Your purpose is joy, just like your bull of a dad. Even though he is puffing out his chest, you remind him to sit down and love and laugh.
I would remind mothers and daughters to talk.
I would remind mothers and sons to laugh.
I would remind fathers and daughters to connect.
I would remind fathers and sons to learn from each other.
Even though my body has changed...
Even though I can pick out the grays you have given me...
Even though my eyes are puffy...
Even though my skin feels different...
Even though our finances are different...
Even though our marriage is different...
Even though it's all different and all changed...
Even though this is the hardest thing we have ever done and ever will do, I would do it all over again.
Because I do love being your mom.