Growing up, I was never really the mommy type. I never played mommy with my dolls. Oh sure, I enjoyed dressing them up and fixing their hair, but I was never the mother. When my best friend Becky, who lived next door, would come over and want to play house, I much preferred to be the dog. She would, of course, be the baby. I don’t know what we were thinking with a house that included a dog and a baby and that was it, but kids and their imaginations are wonderful things.
My favorite toys were always the animals. My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop, Care Bears….all filled my closet. My bed was covered in stuffed animals of all sorts. I had Barbies, but mostly to add to the collection my mom gave me of hers. And I much preferred, again, to dress them and fix their hair than play house.
I babysat occasionally, mostly family members. The occasional friend of a friend of a friend, but only if they were “real people”. Preschool was the youngest I felt comfortable watching. Elementary School kids were my favorite though. Helping them with their homework. Playing games. Letting them stay up later then they were suppose to.
Even once I got married, I was iffy about having children. Newborns scared me to death. The eyes! The floppy limbs! The lack of sleep! OMG, the lack of sleep. I have always needed more sleep than usual, and the thought of not getting sleep made me seriously worry about what I would become.
I remember the weekend that mindset changed. We were in Colorado with a bunch of our friends. A couple there brought their son. He was only a few weeks old and I was smitten. The running joke was that there was something in the water and I was chugging it bad. I would snuggle and love on that tiny little man for hours, giving his mother and father much needed time off.
At the airport, before our flight home, Mr. Soup and I sat down. And we talked. Seriously talked. Our path to becoming parents would begin. That path would be short, and the pregnancy would seem like it would last forever. I was horribly sick the entire time, even on medication. I worked up until 41 weeks, when I went home because I was having contractions. My coworkers were happy to see me leave, especially since it meant I was no longer vomiting in my trash can around them.
Later that week, less than 12 hours before I was scheduled for an induction, I went into labor. Five and a half hours of intense labor and I was a mother. I felt like my heart would burst.
This was what people were talking about. This is what little kids strive for when playing house and mommy. In that second, I knew I would do anything for this little person in my arms.
The joy she brought to my life was indescribable. Time passes, and I only fall more in love. Her personality grows daily and she’s grown into a “Strong Willed Child”, as Dr. Dobson put it. Even in the midst of the toddler terrors, there is joy.
The silence when she is screaming so high pitched no sound escapes her mouth.
The head tilt she has MASTERED when she tries to manipulate the remote or phone or some other electronic from your hand.
The look in her eyes as she watches to see if you’ll come after her as she reaches for something.
Being able to recognize the good things in the midst of a breakdown has brought something else to my heart.
Motherhood doesn’t scare me anymore. I know that this was how it was suppose to be. I just needed to wait for this little princess in my life.
I now understand why children play with baby dolls. The desire to snuggle children. The twinge in the ovaries when seeing squishy baby toes. This joy in my life has changed so much, and all for the good.
Well, except for my waistline….