A few days ago I heard a news story that a young woman age 32 passed away from cancer. I did not know her but she was on television and I watched parts of her life because it was reality television. She seemed to lead a very interesting full life and in many ways has seen and done many more things than I will likely ever do.
Still it haunts me. Her death. The thing that strikes me is she was not married and did not have children. She mentioned wanting that at some point and when I was watching my two boys giggle at each other making silly faces I welled up with tears at the fact that I am so very lucky to experience these moments with my boys.
Lately I have been struggling with a loss of self that many parents of small children go through. I don't really sleep well. I don't see my friends too much. My husband and I don't get to go out on dates anymore. Still I am reminded how lucky I am.
I am alive. I experience motherhood on a daily basis in all its puke and poop filled glory. In all the tears and tantrums and very unglamorous moments where you hope no one is watching you shove the kids in the car mumbling under your breath or are on the verge of collapsing in a heap yourself after another toddler fit over attempting to pee on the potty.
All of this is erased when I think about the blessings of seeing their faces look at me or my husband or their grandparents or each other adoringly. Being pregnant and having them live with me for 9 special months. I got to experience it all with them.
Now I have bath time when they laugh and splash. There is that time on the couch watching television covered in small children so engrossed they forget they have their foot on your face. When they tug your arm and ask for some juice or a snack and you know you will get that special smile when you hand them the item of their desire.
When they clap. When they look up at you with sleepy eyes after nursing before bedtime. Rocking them. Washing their hands. Wiping their noses. Getting them dressed.
That look of surprise. That smile. That laugh. That voice. Those words only they say in the way only they say them. It is all priceless. Those moments with your children that everyone who has them gets but are unique in their own ways and no one would trade.
Looking at the lives of others is relatively meaningless when you compare yours to theirs. Every once and a while you get the privilidge of looking in the mirror at your own life and being pleasantly surprised. For all the pain and disappointment in the world I am incredibly lucky. Each moment I have is so precious. Nothing strikes me in my heart more than the fact that I am just incredibly grateful for all of it each and every day.