One the posts I wrote just after Camille passed away was entitled A Lasting Change. I wrote it about some of the good changes I had seen come from the tragedy that befell our family. One of those was the change in my family. I became a new mother that day Camille died. There were lots of hard and painful and just downright terrible changes that happened to me that day. But there were also some new and wonderful changes that took place.
Lately, I have really had my eyes opened to how "lasting" these changes in me have been. Given the perspective of 3.5 years and birthing two more children into our home, I have seen these changes put to the test and over time and trial, I have discovered that at least some of these good changes are, for me, permanent.
The other day a friend and I were talking about kids and mothering. Half joking, she said something like, "when is it supposed to get to the point where you really enjoy it?" We are both in the little kid stage. This can be a really hard stage of motherhood. I get that. But I answered her question with one word. "NOW!" Whenever now is for you, that is when you should start enjoying it.
I explained that before Camille passed away I was just in survival mode with the 4 kids under age 6. I was just "getting through it" till the youngest two could play together more and make my job as Mom less physically demanding. I was just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel of that hard first year of essentially 2 babies when Camille died.
"You have to enjoy the now because sometimes that is all you get." That is one change that Camille's death made permanent in me. I enjoy the now. Even when my kids are driving me nuts, I still enjoy the now. I may get frustrated or overwhelmed at times. But I constantly have a joy in my soul that I get to be a mother. It is a constant undercurrent in my life now that dramatically shapes my mothering.
Hand in hand with that is how much more positive I am about my job as a mother. I do not look at my role with as much pessimism. When people ask me about how I like being a mother, my first thoughts are all positive. I don't think about how hard it is or the lack of sleep or the whining, and tantrums and redundancy or the daily training. I think of how much I love my children and how lucky I am to have such amazing people in my family. I think of how honored I am to be their mother and all the cute things they say and their shiningly wonderful qualities.
I am thankful for these changes. They are vastly improving my mothering experience. I am grateful that there has been such a personally wonderful and lasting good that has come about as a result of an otherwise terrible tragedy.