Sometimes in the most ordinary moments I catch myself looking at you in wonder. I want to freeze time. To imprint this very moment on my heart and in my mind. I want to memorize your face. The sound of your sweet voice as you tell me to, “Tum here, mommy.” Your giggles. The way your little feet echo through the hallways.
Right now, you need me. I am the center of your world. Your best friend. The words, “I love you, mommy” roll off your lips multiple times a day.
Memorize it, I tell myself. Because I know all too soon, it will no longer be my hand that you reach for.
Motherhood is a funny thing. It’s wearing your heart outside of your body every day of your life. It’s giving of yourself tirelessly and without hesitation, knowing that one day your children will venture off and forge their own path. It’s grasping on so tightly knowing that all too soon, you will need to let go. It’s unfathomable joy and heartbreak. You can read all the books, ask all the right questions, but nothing can prepare you for it.
There are so many things I want to tell you. So many things I want to teach you. And it’s in these seemingly ordinary moments that I find myself wondering who you will become.
As your mama, I want so badly to shield you from this world. To protect you from the ugly parts, but I would be doing you a disservice — because the world needs your light. So instead, I will spend my days teaching you, fanning the flame that burns inside you, reminding you to spread goodness wherever you go.
Because people will give you a thousand reasons to carry hate, to harbor angst, to be wary and fearful.
Love them anyway.
Speak truth. It is far too easy to tear others down. To use words to make others feel less than.
Take the high road.
Use your voice for good. Fight to be others’ voices when they feel that they have none. Because your words matter.
Sit with the lonely.
Talk with the broken.
Never fear differences, fear harbors hate. Instead, use your eyes to see the best in people. Recognize and remember that our differences are what make us stronger.
I don’t care what title you carry, the kind of car you drive, or how much money you make. I care about your heart. I care that you show compassion and kindness to others. That you extend grace and forgiveness when it’s needed. That you give love even when it’s hard.
Leave a legacy so great and so vast that when others speak your name, they speak of a life filled with love and compassion. A life filled with joy.
Because while one person may not be able to change the world, you can change the heart of those around you.
And that, my baby… is a life well lived.
This story originally appeared on They Whine, So I Wine facebook page