on motherhood.

my children didn't ask to have me as a mother,
but they have changed my life by being mine.
i first became a mom when my nicholas andrew was born on new year's day 2000.
i remember holding my little baby that felt as light and small as holding a folded t-shirt and simultaneously feeling a weight in my heart that felt much heavier.
there was an ability to love inside me that i did not recognize.
i loved nicholas simply because he was.
i was bound to this little one in love as much as he was bound to me for his very life.

i had my oliver eighteen months later.
when i was pregnant with him, i was afraid of not being able to love as much as i had with my first. when i saw him, i knew~
his very presence created space in my heart that i feared didn't exist.

those first years of having my little toddler/baby duo were amazing. they grew me up like nothing ever has. they made me give more than i thought i could, they made me think of myself less, they made me smile and laugh a lot, and they made me so exhausted that there were days i thought i couldn't survive. they made me need God.

then four years ago, our little gem was born. abigail came with sparkle that is still her own. she has awaken a new femininity in my soul just by the way she looks at me. she makes me remember that i am a woman, mother, sister and daughter. she teaches me that hope and beauty and romance are captured in a woman's heart. and she teaches me how to love the boys that surround us~ to make them want to be our princes.

and just when i thought my heart and arms were full, my little elliot entered the scene and magically made space for himself.
he brightens the room when he waddles into it. i'm melted when he holds on to me while i'm holding him. more than any other thing, he teaches me to relax. he teaches me that it's okay to sit for a minute, to take a deep breath and to slow down. i'm sure these are just his beginning lessons for me.

i don't think that i would recognize the woman i was before these souls joined our family. in some ways, i'm far worse that i've ever hoped to be as a mom. the way the kids love me despite myself reminds me of ultimate forgiveness that is mine. amazingly.

my heart is now four times larger than i ever thought it would be.
and that, to me is what it means to be a mother.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all of you.


keri said...

and happy mother's day to you my friend!! such a great post....no wonder you were an english major. (and i wasn't!!)
i'm so glad we can go through this motherhood thing together....you have been such a help to me as i've watched you love your four!

Jean Joiner said...

thanks kate! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow...beautiful! I often wonder who that person is looking back at me in some of my older pictures...Motherhood changes everything!
How right you are when you think about having the second kid...scared to death that there won't be enough love to go around or that it will be different. But then, all in that one moment you are completely in love again!

Thank you for your post!!
April (Davis) Brown

Angie Davis said...

what a beautiful mom you are!

Angela D. said...

I had forgotten how much I love to read your writing and look at your pictures.
It feels good to look at it all again.
Hope you guys are doing well...
Angela D.

BKicklighter said...

What fun to find you - to see your family - to catch up a bit on your life. What fun!!!

Peggy Chen said...

oh, katie, you have such a beautiful way of seeing and expressing. i'm so thankful and encouraged you share yourself and your family with us!

Abbie said...

This is such a sweet post.

I wanted to be a mommy every since I was a little girl. I looked forward to it my whole life. But I never had any idea how much I would grow and how much I'd be stretched by the journey of motherhood. It's been far, far richer and deeper than I expected.

Thanks for the beautiful words!