Cuddling with our first-born son hours after his birth, my husband bent down to kiss his fuzzy (if somewhat pointed) head. He looked up, startled and asked, “My God, do they all smell like that?”
New baby smell is so much better than new car smell.
For months I snuggled, sniffed, and kissed tiny feet and hands. I nuzzled his neck under his double chins where it smelled faintly of sweet milk and baby powder- heavenly. Resistance was futile, and impossible in his case anyway. Until he learned to crawl.
You think your children will always be yours, and they are in the sense that they were born from you—but all other ownership is null and void. As much as we want to wrap them in a cocoon and protect them from the world, they resist. They insist on exploring the world and becoming independent—stubborn little boogers.
They were literally born striving for freedom, stretching and pushing from belly, to pulling away from hands in crowded stores, to getting their license and going to college. You want to keep them safe and close because you know what lurks down dark alleyways and sometimes even in broad daylight.
But they insist on learning their way, and sometimes, most times, the hard way.
You have so much hope for them. You hope they will make friends, the team, good grades. You hope they will never know rejection, heartbreak, or loss. You hope they will make a good, solid future for themselves and God, oh God, please let them always be happy.
You know you can’t protect them from everything. But if you could you would take every one of their sorrows and heartaches on your own shoulders. Your shoulders are strong enough to hold every one of their troubles—because you're “mom.
So you will lay the foundation for their lives and they will construct their futures on it. You’ll pass down all of the knowledge passed down from your parents, that was passed down from their parents, and so on: be nice to others, there’s more fish in the sea, money doesn’t grow on trees, don’t drink and drive, don’t text and drive, don’t do anything else and drive, just drive. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover, be yourself, give freely, love freely. Success isn’t judged by the quantity of things you have, but the quality of the life you lead.
They will go off-track, we all do. But you’ll be there with your strong shoulders to soothe their bruised knees, bruised egos, broken bones, and broken hearts. No matter how bad they mess up or how far they stray, we’ll always be waiting for them with open arms to listen and help them pick themselves up and move on.
We’ll be there to rejoice with them too. Every joy, every accomplishment, every opportunity- we’ll root them on and be their biggest cheerleaders, their biggest fans. We love them wholly and unconditionally and nothing they do could ever change that.
Because even when they gain their independence, they’re still ours—and we’ll always be “Mom”.