Today Andrea decided to be cuddly. We sat in the front row in sacrament meeting, and as the decans quietly walked up and down the aisles of chapel Andrea laid her head on my chest and breathed to the beat of their footsteps. I wrapped my arms around her tiny body and sniffed her hair wondering how many of these little moments she'd afford me. Older mothers warned me if blinked I'd find her grown. I believed them, but couldn't fully comprehend exactly how that would feel until I brought her into the world and one moment later found myself holding a 17 month old in the middle of sacrament meeting.
Two years ago on Mother's Day I announced on my blog that I was going to be a mother. I was so excited, scared, sick, but mostly excited. I knew that becoming a mother would teach me so much about myself, and I knew I would come to know the ins and outs of a new little person, but what I didn't expect was how much I'd learn about my own mother.
When I was young and my mother sent me away from the table without desert because I wouldn't eat my healthy food I thought she hated me. When she wouldn't let me play until my room was clean I thought she was a slave driver. When she made me do my own laundry and pay for my own gas and come home at six and make my bed every day and babysit little siblings and pull weeds in the garden and come to scripture study before the sun rose (even in the Summer) I thought she was cruel.
I know I've expressed this before but. . . I wish I knew then what I know now. I wish I would have understood the love of a mother. Setting limits isn't easy. Always being the bad guy isn't super fun. And being completely misunderstood is challenging. But I'm grateful that she did those things so I could learn. I'm grateful she did those things out of love.
I love Andrea tremendously, and that love grows every day. Sometimes I find it overwhelming, especially while watching sapping movies where babies or mommies die. When I think about the maternal love my mom has been cultivating for almost a quarter of a century I wonder how she keeps from exploding. I suppose that’s the beauty of motherhood; your heart just keeps growing to make room.