i carried alexis & brynn for 40+ & 40 weeks, respectively.
i pushed them out of my body & lovingly examined mouths & noses while anxiously counting fingers & toes.
i curled my toes & tasted the silent tears that dripped from my tightly squeezed eyes for 2 weeks straight while they got the hang of breastfeeding.
i pumped at all hours of the day & night to make sure that they would have plenty to eat.
i walked around in a sleepless haze & clothing crusted with spit up & mustard seed poop, all the while rocking & swaying & shushing.
i crept into alex's room to count her breaths & watch her happily sleep swaddled in her crib.
i curled myself into a tiny ball at the edge of the bed & slept lightly for 6 months to allow brynn the safety of bed sharing that she so demanded.
i sat in the Target parking lot for an extra hour or more to allow for an unexpected nap.
i went back to work to provide for them, amongst a mix of feelings that included sadness & relief.
i drive all over God's creation to make sure they're well cared for & healthy.
i do laundry multiple times a day.
i read the same book 10 times in a row.
i wipe tears, butts, mouths, sticky fingers & noses with alarming regularity.
i buy things that i swore i never would, simply to see them smile.
i make 2 & 3 dinners- because hello mother- "I DON'T WANT CHICKEN!" (even though i said i did)
i am endlessly on the move. just because. someone needs me. someone is falling. someone needs a hug.
i cheer their accomplishments, listen to their "stories" & feign interest in Dora & Team UmiZoomi.
i think about them from the minute i wake up to the moment i fall asleep.
i'm proud & happy & hopeful & scared & everything all at once- for them
i feel my heart swell when they declare their love for me.
i spy a stain on my pants & smile because i remember how it got there. (or frown because, dude- these pants were $35 dollars!!!)
i say yes & no more than i ever thought i would.
i simply sit & hold- even when i have a million things to do- because that's what they need.
i already miss all of those things that will no longer be needed as they grow, but i also look forward to all of the new roles that will be required of me.
i hug & hug & hug.
i kiss & kiss & kiss.
i love, love love, love- being a mother.