Dirty fingernails, grass-stained knees, dried boogies left in all the wrong places. Peanut butter and jelly residue encircling mouths full of teeth that haven't been brushed today, that one spot of hair that seems to always stick in the opposite direction of the others, rosy cheeks and scents of sweat engulfing the senses with each swift kiss as they bounce in from playing. This is motherhood.
Squishing spiders that scurry across the floor, showing intense bravery by letting a caterpillar crawl all the way up your arm, teaching how to catch a lizard with its tail still intact, and carrying clear plastic cups to the retention areas to help fish for tadpoles. Holding your breath when they climb too high in the tree, swinging them until your arm is so sore, and being armed with antibacterial cream, a character band-aid, and a warm hug when they fall. This is motherhood.
Scooting over to allow a little more room for the middle of the night bed guest, reading the same story for the gazillionth time, allowing play-doh when you secretly hate it so very much, and velcroing the backs of princess dresses and superman costumes. Making green eggs and ham, buying copious amounts of Capri-Suns, calling salmon patties "Crabby Patties" and watching every single one of them suddenly gobble them up and ask for more. This is motherhood.Toting folding chairs to soccer games, paying monthly ballet dues, making last minute runs to the store for snack day at school. Listening to the mono-toned struggle of a child learning to read, making math fact flash cards, filling the calendar until the white spaces are few and far between. This is motherhood.Joining in on a water gun fight, sacrificing the lawn for blow-up pools and slip-n-slides, letting them win every once in a while during the race to the mailbox. After dinner walks to the park, making sure that there is plenty of bug spray and sunscreen, trying so hard not to nag about the shoes and socks that end up everywhere besides where they need to go. This is motherhood.
Laughing at their awful knock-knock jokes, being amazed when they actually start to understand real humor and perform perfectly, smiling inside and out when friends call their name from across the room at different functions. Holding them close as they sob into your chest during the sad parts of the movie, teaching them how to overcome the hard times of friendships, and showing them how to love others, even when it's hard to do so. This is motherhood.Administering several meds throughout the day, making sure there are enough supplies to last the week, spending countless hours on the phone managing care. Rocking them when they don't feel good, singing songs while slowly stroking the hair away from their faces, wrapping your arms around their small bodies and trying desperately to memorize that feeling right then. Praying and crying and worrying and fretting and praying and praying and praying. This is motherhood.
It is a role that will be ever changing as the children grow older, yet the root will always lie in the love and duty God has instilled in us to care for His children while they are on this earth. It is a heavy load, yet also one of the most rewarding at times. And although there are moments in the young years of our children when we want to hide and pretend not to hear the name "Mama" called out for the 68th time that day, we must remember that their voices will not be heard as much as they grow through those tough adolescent years...and then one day, before we can even blink, we will walk into an empty room that once inhabited those precious giggles and requests for one more drink of water or an extra kiss before bedtime and want so badly to be able to return that request once again.
These years will be over in the blink of an eye.
This is motherhood.