Today marked the day Plumster went to her school without asking me for a goodbye kiss. Not even a goodbye hug. She just got in line, raised her little face toward me, and smiled her goofy smile. Other kids gathered around her and they chatted. I stood there watching her, unsure of what to do next.
This reminded me of the tail end of her breastfeeding days. Every time I nursed her I wondered if it’d be the last time she wanted to nurse. At the end, with residency training, everything was a blur. Perhaps that was a good thing. Now I can’t even remember the very last time she nursed and how we eventually stopped. This time around, I want to commemorate this milestone moment. Or shall I say, this little heart break of a motherhood moment.
Motherhood is full of uncertainty, anxiety and most of all, this unremitting sense of selflessness. This abundance of selfless love for another creature that you never knew existed within you. This creature whom you nourish with your own blood and soul for nine months inside your womb, and later, with your milk and heart in your arms. Sometimes you think you might break, from all the time and energy and attention that is required of you. But miraculously you don’t. You become stronger both mentally and physically. All of a sudden you can stay up hours on end; lift heavy weights such as a stroller with a growing baby inside, up flights of stairs; make meals in a flash; research and cross-reference for the multitude of little-people-items that we seem to need to raise a child these days; and somehow with all the chaos around you, remain calm with a smiling face when all you want to do is to throw up your hands and scream, “Mommy needs a break.”
Somehow miraculously, you just expand.
You expand your tolerance, your patience, you love. Because of this little person, you become more capable. Your repertoire of songs and funny voices expand as well. But watch out! While you are busy being the kind of mother that you envision yourself to be, they grow up. While you are busy planning the next phase, they grow up right under your nose. Step by step, they grow up. First they let go of your bosom, then your goodbye kisses and hugs. I hate to fathom what will they give away next?!
Thankfully Plum is still not sleep-trained yet. I know there is a fine reason in my madness. She still needs me to fall asleep. I think I am going to hold on to that a little while longer.