There is a lot that has changed since I became a mother for the first time – four children and twelve years, ago. My hair has thinned a bit, even begun to turn silver where auburn and copper highlights once shimmered from the sunlight in my deep chestnut locks. The shape of my body is no longer lean and tight as it was in my youth, but, rather voluptuous and a tad saggy around the edges these days. My previously taut skin is beginning to sag like an outstretched hair tie; crows feet and laugh lines are definitive proof of my age.
Gone are the days of experimenting with homemade baby foods, lugging around overstuffed diaper bags, and fussing over every sniffle. Blowout diapers, breast pad slippage, and the ridiculously exhausting pantomimes required before sleep is allowed, are merely just recollections of the past. I don’t go running for every little bump, crash, or ear-piercing wail- not even when “Mom” becomes a mantra instead of my name. My subconscious learned to decipher between typical overdramatics and sheer panic long ago.
Back then, my name was even different. They called me “MaMa”. It is a time I long for again. A magical place in time I can never go back to no matter how much my heart yearns.
Once upon a Blue Moon ago, in a far away dream land… my children were still newborn babies. Sweet smelling bundles of joyful bliss and tender-hearted innocence. Lively, eager, and full of exuberance, they brought light into my dim world. Brighter than any sun could shine upon the wastelands of my heart, my little ones lit up the darkness of my lonely, bitter, old soul. Without saying a word, they could keep me chattering endlessly – to them and about them. There was so much to be said of those precious hearts of mine. The wonderment of it all was joyously overwhelming at times, but, so fulfilling.
As infants, their every need solely depended on me – Mama. Every waking moment, regardless of the hour, they relied upon my nurturing instincts for their survival. So small and helpless. Itty bitty, football-sized alien immigrants who were quite figuratively, deaf, dumb, and blind to the world. Our only discourse came through the exchange of emotional energy. It truly is a beautiful thing to see, if you get a chance to watch a mother and child communicating so intensely without ever speaking a word. A language only understood by them – two souls in perfect harmony. Those moments exemplified absolute mindfulness and the deep-rooted bond between mother and baby. Those moments consumed me.
With each birth, I found myself wasting away the subsequent days in admiration of my new little one. I wished I could suck every last second I had with them into a vortex of time, sending them into an eternal dream land full of the memories I never wanted to forget. A place unlike regular memories, where I could relive the moment as real as it once was. Even in the moments when the sleepless nights and colic seemed too much to bear, one look into the loving, undoubtedly trusting eyes of my infant and feel my calm return. Every movement… Every sound… Every expression they made, I was obsessively fascinated with and irresistibly enamored by. The only perfection I had ever witnessed in my lifetime. So hard to believe I made them.
Milestones were celebrated like national holidays- which were celebrated, in return, like sixteenth birthday blowout extravaganzas. Their first and second birthdays were always ostentatious productions of hoopla and hokum; none of which would even be remembered. At the time, though, the endless giggles and incessant squeals of delight erupting, made my heart swell with pride as my babies toddled around taking in the festivities. I would do it all over again, if I could. Nothing was too good for my little rays of sunshine. Every day spent with them was worth celebrating and that’s a good reason for throwing a party for my cutie pies as any. They were the stars of their own shows back then.
Those baby days felt like being on a runaway rollercoaster all of the time. An older, wooden structure type, to be precise. The coaster keeps zooming through the station, refusing to stop and let its passengers unload as it loops the track over and over again. Bumpy and nerve-rattling, the ride can be challenging to endure both mentally and physically. Miraculously, though, the following adrenaline response allowed me to push away from the negativity of the experience and embrace the exhilaration of the ride. Life never felt so full. So grand. So amazingly perfect.
The magic inside my babies proved to be contagious – spreading light, love, laughter, and liveliness wherever they went. It was a constant rush of pleasure to be with them when they were happy and full of joy. There was a humbling sensation of pride felt when I finally soothed my miserably teething baby to sleep. It was refreshing to my soul to see a miniature replica of my face light up every time it saw mine appear above. So many feelings were evoked from one bundle of love.
The tears, the tiredness, and the mental breakdowns have long been forgotten about; such distant memories are hidden beyond my mind’s reach, lost forever.
Only traces of the enchantment which beheld me for so many years lingers, waiting to be called upon when my heart needs its fill. Waiting for me to escape into that dream land I created, holding spent time.
For now, those babies are already halfway grown children. Time is already working on changing my oldest two, again, as puberty has begun to transform them, once more. The magic within my babies has withered with their innocence over the course of rising moons. No longer alienated to the ways of the world, my children are out of tune with the heartsong we once shared; they are marching along to a beat I no longer hear inside me. Independence has become their main objective, and the tiny little hands, which held onto a single of my fingers with such powerful grip, have grown to be the size of mine and let go for good. My hand has never felt so cold before.
I am still continuously in awe of all that my children are becoming and learning to do, but, now, it seems, they are no longer as fascinated by me. Nevertheless, I continue on as their biggest fan in life – taking in the moments of laughter and joy, as I have always done. Even if it annoys them greatly for me to do so. I am their mother, I know of nothing else but cheering them along. Encouraging them to reach farther, climb higher, fall harder, get up faster, dream bigger, and wish on brighter stars… it is all I have ever done since they became mine. My babies.
It is sad to have said goodbye to the days where magic was alive and the light emanating from within my babies shined brightly upon my home. It was a time unlike any other I have ever experienced and I can feel an ache in my heart where I long to go back to months after they were each born, just for a little while. One last snuggle against my chest where their whole body actually fit, nestled against mine tightly. One last soulful eye gaze, as we stare so deeply into each other’s eyes while my baby nourishes his sweet, round, soft tummy. One last deep breath, taking in the glorious smell that is pure baby, which can never be replicated nor can anything ever smell as scrumptiously good. Just. One. More. It was all over before I was ready.
Time has changed so much from where we started. When I was a young, first time mom to a baby boy I had no idea what to do with. I am wiser, calmer, and more liberal as a parent than before. My children are much larger, louder, and sarcastically wittier than ever. My babies have all but disappeared into these young ladies and gentlemen I have before me today. I still cannot believe I made these children of mine. But I did… once upon a Blue Moon ago.
By: Kristina Hammer, aka, The Angrivated Mom