Not What I Thought

Being your Mom is not what I thought it would be. Not at all. It’s so much better.

This morning I went in to wake you up, like I do every morning, and I saw your mess of tangled chocolate-brown curls and smelled your morning breath and saw your hint of a smile and I just melted. Who is this tween girl of mine and how did I get so lucky? I don’t know why but I could never picture you sleeping in a regular bed, wearing a regular nightgown, waking up like any other sweet pre-teen girl. But there you are.

I help you get dressed and I love being able to pick out your clothes. You have opinions on dress, skirt, jeans or sweatpants and I ask you to pick out a shirt, but you still wear clothes that I like and buy for you. I don’t know why but I could never picture you helping me pick out your outfit and asking for a “squirt of perfume”. But there you are.

I watch you select “a friend” from your pile of stuffed animals and walk down the hall in your Aeropostale sweatshirt and skinny jeans and think about how I was so wrong. You are so much more independent and “normal” and beautiful that I ever dreamed. I don’t know why but I could never picture you heading down to breakfast all by yourself in the morning. But there you are.

On the weekends, you love to come in and put make-up on while I’m getting ready. “Where’s the blush, Mama?” and “I need mascara!” and “Ooh! Purple eyeshadow!” you say while you stand in front of the sink next to me looking in the mirror. After we’ve finished putting on our faces, you open the closet door and take in your beauty in the full length mirror. You look up at me with a full-wattage smile and head back to your room. I don’t know why but I could never imagine us doing our make-up together. But there we are.

You eat breakfast all on your own, you take your spot on the couch so we can fix your hair, you ask nicely for Tom and Jerry or Looney Tunes. As long as there’s a show on, you’ll let me play with your hair for as long as it takes. I brush out the tangly mess that comes from a good night of sleep and you never complain. Sometimes we do braids, sometimes a ponytail, but always something girly and pretty. I don’t know why but I never pictured us sitting in front of the TV doing your hair. But there we are.

You get home from school with your Pottery Barn girlie backpack on and your Twinkle Toes shoes and your adorable glasses all smiles. You leap off the bus into my arms, give me a huge kiss on the cheek and say “Hi Baby Girl!” because you know that’s what I’m about to say. We chat a little about your day, take off your glasses and get into your pjs if you can. “I need to watch a show!” you say and we pull out your extensive collection of DVDs so you can choose which one fits your fancy that day. You say “Is it locked?” because you like to have control of the DVD player but I don’t like you messing with it so I lock it. I love how you know it’s locked. I don’t know why I never pictured our after-school scenario, but I couldn’t. But there you are.

You crack up at jokes in all the right places. You make jokes yourself. You’re truly one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. You jump on the trampoline, you run around with your brothers, you play on your ipad. You’re just so…normal. I don’t know why I never pictured all this normalcy, but I didn’t. But there you are.

There are moments every single day when I just can’t believe my luck. What started out feeling like a disaster now feels like the best thing that ever happened to me. There is a moment every single day where I feel like the luckiest mom in the world because I have you. I sometimes wish that I didn’t have to change diapers, that you could be like all the other girls and then I stop myself. Because if all of those things came true, then I wouldn’t have you. And I don’t want to imagine that life. There’s too much that is wonderful in this one.

Definitely not what I thought.

It’s better.

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19 responses to “Not What I Thought

  1. After reading this precious entry, I feel like I have a CDC soulmate!! I thought I was the only one who still savored Cooper’s sweet morning breath and the knots in his hair from twisting it in the night!!!

    The more I read, the more amazed i am at how similar Olivia and Cooper are…except he is ALL boy and wants to do whatever his big brother, Noah is doing!

    I am sure you have….but have you tried toilet training? We got Cooper trained at 9. We still do a lot of reminding and he still has some accidents but it worked really well….especially with the school helping!!!! Let me know if you want some ideas 🙂

    I agree with you….Cooper is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and the rest of our family. I love how he get jokes and how funny he is!!!

    Livin’ it with ya!
    Lisa

  2. Lovely post. I try to stay in the here and now with Helena, but can’t help but wonder about the future now and then. It’s wonderful to hear how independent Olivia is becoming.

  3. Tiffany, don’t you know it’s not very nice to a girl cry? (And on a morning when I actually put on mascara!) 😉

    Seriously, this is just breathtaking – such beautiful, vivid details about your life and your journey with Olivia. I feel lucky to have read it this morning. And now I need to go give my babies a big hug. 🙂

  4. You are very lucky! I’m so glad that it turned out miles different than you initially expected!! Yay, Olivia!!!

  5. Love those freckles. What a great picture.

  6. I am so glad you and Olivia can experience all these wonderful moments together. Every parent should cherish this time, savoring each minute.

  7. So beautifully written. As always, you are so inspiring. As Alex is only 4 right now, I too hope that I get to see him exceed my expectations, as you have seen with Olivia. And even at this age, I do understand that feeling of “I am so lucky”…because most people don’t get to experience that magic that we do.

  8. “It’s better.” I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN!!!!

  9. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!

  10. Hi Tiff, I want you to know that every time I read one of your posts, it makes me a better mom. Thank you! xoxo -Vicki

  11. “Because if all those things were true, then I wouldn’t have you.”
    Lovely.

  12. ***smile***
    I hope this post gives a booster shot of hope to all the new moms (and grandmas)! These are the kind of moments we have to savor. Thank you once again, dear Tiffany.

  13. Your little girl is beautiful and so is this post.

  14. What a lovely tribute to mothers and daughters and the tenderness that lies in the silence of being side by side. Loved this post.

  15. The love you have for that beautiful face just melts my heart. This is precious Tiff, truly precious.

  16. I love the way you write, I do! You are so blessed to have eachother. It’s nice to have “Good Cry’s” I needed a good one. Thank you!

  17. Something today made me think of you and your sweet daughter. Came here to check up on you both and read this post. I love it! It is so very touching, thanks for sharing!

  18. Olivia surprises me more and more every time she comes to class. She makes me laugh all of the time. She has shown so much growth in the short time I’ve known her. Olivia has become so independent. She is just as ornery (in a good & fun way) as any of my other students! 🙂 To be honest, I rarely have to “accommodate” Olivia. When I do, it’s just a few minor changes.

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