It is 7:30 p.m. To me it feels like 11:30 p.m. For some reason today has felt exceedingly long. At one point today I though to myself, "surely it must be dinner time!" I looked at the clock. It was noon. I already felt as if I had lived an entire day in the hours from waking up at 7 am till noon.
Moments ago I tucked my little girls in their beds and went to nurse Noble back to sleep because they had woken him up. I sat on Lauren's bed watching Sabrina read her Nancy Drew book and waiting for Lauren to come back with her blankie so I could kiss her good night. I was tired. I felt that exhaustion from the day. And I thought to myself, "what a wonderful time of my life this is."
Someday they will be reading Twilight instead of Nancy Drew. Someday they will not ask me to stay and snuggle them a little longer. Someday my arms will not be tired from carrying little people. Someday there will be baby left to nurse. Someday there will be no little cheeks needing goodnight kisses before they can sleep. Someday ... but not today.
And today I find joy in the cheeks, and the kisses, and cuddles, and innocence. And today I welcome the clinging, and the whining, and the dirty clothes and hands and feet. Today I welcome the mouths that need me to feed them and the bodies that need me to hold them. Today I welcome the exhaustion of motherhood.
I used to think I just had to "get through" this period of motherhood. Babies are so much work. I used to think of the first year as the sacrifice you give to get the joy of the child that a baby becomes. But that was before.
I still think children get more and more fun the older they get (so far at least). But now I treasure even the "sacrifice" parts of motherhood. They too make up part of the mosaic that is my experience as a mother. And all these good and tiring and wonderful experiences are creating day by day my children's childhood. And I will work till I am good and tired to make sure that their childhood is a beautiful thing.