I caught a glimpse of my swollen belly this evening. (Normally I would have hurriedly covered it in disgust. I hate the loss of control over what my body looks like during pregnancy. Maybe it's vanity, but I think it is more about me being a control freak...)
Anyway, this evening, I stopped and stared at it at every possible angle in the mirror. "I'm doing this again..." I thought. A little fear rose in my throat, and then I smiled. Maybe it will be hard, and maybe I'll regret doing this again right now with everything going on, but I am so grateful to be a mother.
My year and a half of experience (like I am on old pro, haha) with motherhood has taught me that there are days of extreme frustration. I have felt like the weight of the responsibility of my family is all on my shoulders at times. The feeding. The getting up in the middle of the night. The caretaking of a sick kid. The cleaning. The diaper changing.
But there have also been the days of extreme elation. The firsts that only I witnessed. First smile. First step. First word. First time he successfully used a spoon. I could go on and on. It is true that mothers bear an enormous responsibility, but what an incredible payoff on those good days!
Jackson is teething (AGAIN) and he is waking up in the night, which as a deep sleeper, I loathe! But there we were cuddled up in the comfy brown microfiber rocking recliner that I had to have when I was pregnant with him. At 2:00 am we watched 15 minutes of DVR'd Backyardigans (he won't sit still if I sing) and he drank some juice and cuddled up next to me and fell back asleep, comforted by just the rocking motion and the sound of my heart. I almost didn't want to go back to bed (almost, I said).
Then he is always so cheerful first thing in the morning. He is the perfect offset to my morning grumpiness. His excitement to see me every morning and chirpy chattering repeating everything I say makes me smile.
"Let's go change your diaper" "Di-pah"
"Want some bites?" "Bi pwe"
"I think Zion's here." "Zi-uh!!" (racing for the door)
My heart aches for the women I know (I can think of 3 off the top of my head) who would make excellent mothers and ache for this responsibility. They see woman give birth (or terminate an unwanted pregnancy) every day to children they don't want and can't take care of, knowing that they themselves would make excellent mothers. They have a sense of what they are missing, but the truth of it is, they don't have a clue HOW MUCH they are missing.
When Jackson came into our lives, I thought, "We are finally a family!" And the funny thing is I still don't feel like we are a complete family. I feel more spirits, even after this one, that are meant to come to our family and I can't wait until I have everyone here with me and I sense that they feel the same way. I don't know how many that will be, I will leave that up to prayer.
All these emotions were going through my mind as I stared at my belly tonight. And you know, I may never be a high-powered corporate executive or accomplish whatever some women feel they need to accomplish to be seen as equals of men, but I know my life makes a difference because I am fulfilling part of God's plan for me as a woman. I don't want to be equal to a man. I know that just the role of being a mother makes being a woman incomparable to being a man.