(little Ashton is growing in my tummy)
So many nights of babies waking up, feedings, diaper changes. So many days of singing lullabies and rocking babies, hoping they will fall asleep...for a long time. Crying, terrible twos, terrible threes (it's true), potty training.
Reading every book on the subject of sleeping, potty training (EVERYTHING). Calling every friend for advice. Finding out that each child worked differently...there was no magic answers.
Can't forget mastitis, cracked nipples, leaking, engorged. Clothes not fitting. Clothes fitting, not fitting, fitting, not fitting...so many times.
Waking sleeping babies from naps to pick up toddlers from preschool. Carrying sleeping toddlers from the car to their beds (hoping they stay asleep during transport).
Sick babies. Now waking up at night again. Crying sick baby with four healthy children under 6 in doctor's office getting into everything while we wait upon the doctor. Doctor explaining protocol for treatment while other children are very loud and disruptive. Gross tasting antibiotics forced.
Traveling on planes to Alaska from Virginia with young children. Spilling drink on only clean outfit on long flights. Crying on plane while others stare (me and the kids). Holding sleeping 2 year old while I am in complete pain not wanting to move a muscle so they remain asleep. Changing a dirty diaper on plane, while you have two other toddlers in tow. No movies to watch, electronic devices...
Pool trips with bags and bags of supplies. Children don't like snack but stand and stare at the lady's snack next to you. In the water, out of the water...back in...just had a baby so I am fat.
Church. Activities packed that resemble a toy store. Children fighting on bench over who gets the last goldfish. Goldfish on floor smashed into a million tiny crumbs...multiple. Husband sitting on stand asleep with Bishop. I struggle to remain calm. In the halls while 16 month crawls around waiting to turn 18 months....for years. No nursing rooms.
First child in school. Second. Third. Fourth. And then it happens...after years of waiting, the fifth finally takes his turn. It becomes my turn for quiet, cleanliness and calm...and lunching!
Babysitters needed for couples dates, appointments, etc. Dropping off, picking up, explaining, paying...
Then one child turns 12. Then another, then another. The younger two can even stay home alone. No need for babysitters....ever again.
Bedtime is quick, enjoyable, easy. I am now tucked in by two of my older children each night who come to my bedside for a good night hug.
No more children waking up at night, needing to be rocked, consoled or fed.
No more children to bath, brush or dress.
One will begin driving in July. This will quickly be followed by another (and then 3 more). A taxi service will be established.
Thinking about this circle of motherhood brings a smile to my face. Happy because I actually did it! So many years of tears (mine and theirs), hard work and yet complete joy.
As the circle of "little children mothering"comes to a close, I begin a new circle that will never end...
...their mother (and friend) forever.