Saturday, November 21, 2015

Is This What Makes Me Your Mommy?

Seven times my belly swelled, I felt kicks, I saw ultrasounds, I pushed, I nursed, I rocked and I looked into eyes that came straight from mine. Instantly, I was their mom. Giving them life is what made me their mommy.

But what about you, little guy with court papers that say you're a Robinson now? What makes me your mommy? You didn't grow beneath my heart or memorize my voice before you took your first breath. Our eyes are continents apart and no one mistakes me for your mom. Our DNA doesn't line up but it has to be more than legal documents that make me your mommy.

Most nights, at 11 PM, I lift you from your bed and carry you to the potty so you wake up dry and successful. You don't remember it in the morning because you're hardly awake for the trip. Sometimes when I go to get you up, you're already wet and I change sheets, wash legs, search for dry clothes, and tuck you back in, warm and dry. Tonight, I gather you in my arms and you must dream that I have you at the potty because you wet all over me. I squeal, you cry. I mop the floor, give you a bath and tuck you in warm and dry and have this crazy thought that I feel privileged to do all of that for you. Is this what makes me your Mommy?

 In the mornings, you stumble to my bedside and ask me to fix you breakfast. I wonder if you knew that I was asleep and how precious sleep is to my weary body. But I get up, we snuggle and then share some warm oatmeal, because you're the only one of the 8 who likes a bowl if it as much as I do. And even though I'm missing my slumber, our hearts connect over oats, honey and raisins. Is this what makes me your mommy?

Before you go to bed, you pick a story. Sometimes it's the seek-and-find one that I'm tired of reading. Other times it's another one that you want to hear night after night for a week. We share the story like it's the first time we've ever read it and you're off to bed. I come in later and lay with you, all cozy in the dark where someone might mistake me for your mom because there's no light to expose skin. You pick a song, usually "The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock" and I sing "Jesus Loves You" but you usually take it over. We pray for "peaceful sleep and pleasant dreams" because that's what my grandmother prayer for me. We also pray for the precious mommy who gave you those beautiful lips and adorable smile. I kiss you goodnight and look forward to doing it all again tomorrow. Is this what makes me your mommy?

You spill, I clean.
You hurt, I kiss.
You yawn, I tuck in.
You shiver, I warm.
You do wrong, I correct.
You break, I forgive.
You succeed, I admire.
You smile, I melt.

That is what makes me your mommy.

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