In a moment of doubt and self-pity, something both simple and complicated occurred to me and I felt it should be shared.
I wrote this whilst in the throes of the most intense “morning” (ha!) sickness I have ever experienced. I wrote it because while flopped over on the floor in front of the bathroom waiting for the inevitable, I had a crazy thought.
This is the hardest thing I have EVER done.
And of course, it isn’t. It just felt that way. I know because I’ve already been here, in the exact same spot. In the exact same position. Thinking the exact same thing.
And I have thought it many times since.
Like during all 30 hours of my first child’s labour. During all 3 hours of fruitless pushing. When they told me he was stuck and I required an emergency c-section. That was the hardest thing I had ever done. For a while. Until he was 5 months old and still hadn’t gone a single night without waking every 15 minutes. And I lay on the floor beside his crib, not wanting to bother going back to bed. Surely that was the hardest. Wrong again.
There were terrible twos and eye teeth and potty training and the miscarriage I had before this current pregnancy. All difficult. But still not the hardest.
I know because as hard as those things were, I’ve yet to experience the first day of school. And the first day my child comes home with a black eye from the bully down the street. The first time he drives off in my car for a night out with his buddies. I know that it will never really end.
The rest of my life is going to be hardest thing I’ve ever done. Only to be outdone by the next thing, and the next, as it is for all mothers.
So, are we nuts? Gluttons for punishment? Stubbornly seeking ever-elusive glory? No. I sat there, hunched over on the floor, trying to figure it out. And eventually it came to me.
Paradoxically, this “hardest thing I’ve ever done” is also the easiest. Easy because although I know what’s coming I plow through it anyway. Willingly, even.
Easy because it stems from love. Love that is immeasurable, inexplicable and powerful; far more powerful than this temporary bout of nausea. It comes so naturally I don’t think anything is this world could be more precious or more pure, and I own it. And it owns me. And that’s the rest of my life in a nutshell, because I am a mother.
So bring it on– all the excruciating, beautiful things that are to come. I’m ready. Bring on the ice chips and the arrowroots, the sleepless nights and the tears. I’m willing.
Although I sometimes have these weak little moments (who doesn’t, anyway?), I’m also very able.
– By Sara