I open my eyes and slide out of bed.  It’s another day.

 

More and more, I try to keep at the forefront of my mind the fact that my family’s days, as they are now, are changing.  This is nothing new, of course.  I look back to the first year of my son’s life, the first week drastically different from the last.  Each year of my children’s lives has been like that, so much growth and development packed into a calendar year.  And, while their growth and development is pronounced and obvious (especially with regards to the physical), I see the parallel growth and development that is my own.

 

I could not have seen it coming.  For sure, I knew becoming a mother would change me.  I just didn’t know how.  I didn’t know that my kids would teach me mindfulness in ways that yoga and meditation did not. I didn’t know they would inspire and deepen my creativity.  I didn’t know how much they would make me laugh.  I didn’t know how much I would like myself in this role.

 

While I have dreams and aspirations outside the home, it is my life with my two children, it is my life with my husband, it is my life with the four of us together that influences me profoundly.  I am who I am because of them.  That’s not to say I’m not my own person, because I am.  But the interplay between the four of us is incredible.  I didn’t know it would be that way, but I see it now.

 

The sacrifices, the tears, the tension; the gifts, the smiles, the expansion.  All of these – both sides of every coin – shape who I am.  Motherhood has taught me grace in gathering it all (the good, the bad, the in-between) and continues to offer me lessons.  Sixteen years into motherhood and I am still very much a student.

 

I think I will always be a student, even when my children are adults and in homes of their own.  I will always be a mother, and there will always be lessons to learn as my role of mother shifts.  I cannot see how the years ahead will shape me, fill me, perhaps shake me.  I can only open my eyes and slide out of bed each day.  As my feet touch the ground, I can breathe deeply and open my heart to the experiences of that new day.  I can continue the path of personal growth alongside the growth of those I love dearly.  I can hold love and grace alongside the unknown.  I don’t have to see into the future.  I only have to see what is now.

 

From me to you, here and now…
Michelle