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.