We are starting to see signs of spring. The days are a bit warmer, the sun is sticking around a little bit longer, and there is that freshness to the air. This is the time of year when Lent is underway, I celebrate my birthday and often the start of a new season: so something about it always sticks out to me. The promise of new around the corner and this year it is causing me to pause even a little longer.
In addition to all these normal things that happen every year, I have realized this time of year sticks out to me now for a different reason, the time of year I became a mom. Right about the start of March was when I was at the end of my pregnancy. A long journey in and of itself, what turned out to be a start of a bizarre series of groundhog like days for the world that year, and when my new chapter was beginning in ways I would never expect. But it started with ready for an end of being pregnant. There are a lot of vivid details from that season – including how awful I felt. Specific and clear things that I really hope to capture. For the good and the bad and the crazy, it is the start to my little lady, to our new life and what luckily still seems so vivid will fade with time as most of life does. And right now, on what happens to be birthday eve for me of 38, I am feeling very keenly aware of the feel of new. A new year, a new chapter, a new season….. and something new that has sorta gotten lost in the haze of busy day to day life, of the trauma of our world, and in the way the days go: the new season of motherhood. In fact, the one I dreamed of for a really, really long time. I have a new title these days: Shannie’s Mom.
Motherhood was a long awaited experience and one that I had very specifically planned out. And I am not sure if there has ever been anything else in my 37 years that has shocked me as much as that one: it was completely different and yet felt infinitely better, even in the different, than I would have ever predicted. All those years of anguish were wrapped up in never having the moments: picking out little outfits, selecting a name, choosing a nursery, seeing what they looked like… those moments came and they were really special. Blessing admits a stormy sea for sure. But it was the ones that I never saw coming that left me breathless. I had no idea how much I would just want to be around her. How I would basically prefer she never sleep in any other location than my arms and then eventually my bed: my heart would actually miss her. I was pretty confident we would sleep train or I would be those folks that would do something while the baby napped. Nope, I planned my days around the opportunity to hold her for nap and PRAY they were longer than 2 hours so we could just be. And there is not a right or wrong to this at all, I just discovered it was the thing that made my motherhood journey happy. So much about her first few years surprised me – what made it worth it was not at all the details I thought I would savor.
However, we are in a new era. One where we can talk and have opinions of our own, and her easy going is still pretty good, but it has found a few more dispositions along the way too (she asked me the other day if I can stop making us late…. sorry Shannon). And with this growing up there are parts that I did dream of that are coming true in more of the ways I expected: her school life, her little friend playdates, doing activities, what we enjoy together, what makes our rhythm. That and the of course unexpected: I had no idea how full and distracted your brain gets at this season of life: parenthood, career, adulting – I have never in my life been so distracted and tired (I would take newborn stage over again compared to this level of brain fog). And the mix of the two has me feeling a little emotional with this new season: it is going really fast. So much of it is sorta expected to happen, but it happening while we are just so busy, it all can get so lost and I feel sad. So today, I had to capture the little dream moment that I expected and yet, it has also been the thing that has made the world stop spinning just long enough to savor it: “Hey, Shannie’s Mom” . That little phrase has come up a lot this last month and I could not be more tickled each time I hear it as if the first time!
Over the past month we got to enjoy Shannon’s little school’s Valentine’s Dance together. Then a few playdates have found their way to our calendar. And finally Shannon started Ballet Class. These little moments have been so special and reminded me so very clearly: I am a mom. But what has blessed me in the unexpected was the same feeling when I met her: this feeling of “oh hi there” – not shocked by what she looked like, not overwhelmed about her finally being here, not wondering if her name matched… just this feeling that she has always been a part of my heart and I am just getting a chance to now say a more personal hello. She was always mine and I was always hers, my Shannon girl. And so in-between the dance floor moments, watching her play with little friends, and seeing my girl twirl in her ballet shoes: to hear the other kids say “Hey Shannie’s Mom” I find the blessing of the crazy. And I hope I remember to soak it in every day at pick up for as long as I can…
But also to help document the spice that has come with my little person that holds my heart in hers…… I did call her Shannie girl the other day and she said “Mom, that is just for the kids at school…. you call me Shannon”.
Tomorrow my little Shannon I will celebrate another visit around the sun and I am so glad we will spend it with each other…. that I am Shannie’s Mom.
Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!