Several of months ago, we went out to dinner as a family. We were enjoying our food, but then Vivi started doing typical toddler stuff, like putting ketchup into her milk or turning around backwards in her chair to make animal noises. We asked her to sit politely and did our best to navigate the eating-out-with-a-toddler situation. Seated next to us was another family with a girl about Vivi's age. She was really cute, and sitting nicely, although her and Vivi kept making eyes at each other. Vivi was still being restless and we were beginning to feel a bit flustered (doesn't it always make it worse when it seems like the kid next to you is behaving better?) when the other little girl turned completely around in her chair to face Vivi and began licking her chair. Chip looked at me and said, "well, it looks like they are having a weird-off." It was just so perfect, and I nearly cried from laughing so hard.
Kids can be so weird. Saying odd things, making strange noises - they really don't have much of a filter at this age. But it's fun. Because I get permission to be weird, too. I love this place in life where I can just be who I am. I'm not sure I have felt that freedom until now.
After Vivi was born, it took about a year for me to feel like myself again. It can be a tough transition into motherhood (some seem to make it much more easily; it was a bit difficult for me) and it's so strange because you are all of the sudden so different. Your body is not the same and sometimes feels unrecognizable, and your heart is forever changed, so you are a new person on the inside and the out and it can be a struggle to understand it and adjust.
But now I love it. I stay home with my girls, and work when I can. I have embraced my new identity as not only myself, but also a mother to two precious little people. I'm not in school or at work or in my hometown where I feel pressure to look a certain way, act a certain way, or fit into a certain place. I'm free to wear clothes that don't match to the park because I feel like it, or get creative with my hair because I didn't have time to shower, or take the mornings extra slow and not worry about getting dressed right away to get somewhere or see someone.
And it can be hard, that is true. We are in a bit of a tougher spell right now; I recall 14 and 15 months being particularly hard with Vivi and we are there with darling Brigette. It's just kind of exhausting. But it's pretty special to know that two little people think you hung the moon, and they don't care one bit about your quirks, your imperfections, and whether or not you have it together, and they want to love on you from the moment they wake up until they are tucked into bed (and sometimes in between!). Because you are their Mama, and that is what matters right now.
So, happy Mother's Day to all of you! I hope you feel cherished and that you cherish the little (or big) people in your life especially this weekend. Being a mama is a gift, and I am so grateful.