For This Child I Prayed

Today you drew me a picture, all scribbles and smudges.

And I cried.

I cried because, as your tiny fingers shoved this unrecognizable creation into my hands with a “dis one for you, mama,” I remembered a time when I wondered if little hands would ever draw humble masterpieces just for me. I remembered a time when I wondered if a tiny voice would ever call me mama or run to my arms for comfort and security when no others would do. A time when I wondered if I would ever know the “until you experience it, you’ll never understand it” kind of love that comes with motherhood.

But here you are, drawing me pictures and calling me mama and jumping into my arms with a giant “I lub you!”

And it’s true what they say–all of it. The good and the bad of motherhood is all mixed sloppily together in a haze of sleeplessness and self-doubt that makes the minutes drag by while the years fly past. The untethered joy and love of parenting is truly only matched by the frustration and fears that come along with it.

And even though I forget it some days, THIS, my sweet child is exactly what I prayed for.

My journey to motherhood didn’t go according to my plan, and I think for most, it rarely does. My path here took turns and detours I never expected and probably wouldn’t have chosen for myself, but it has made the arrival here that much sweeter.

To be honest, sometimes I forget that this IS the life I wanted so desperately. It seems so far away now, but when I look back, I can almost see that young woman who used to be me smiling through gritted teeth at unwelcome questions, sitting uncomfortably through another baby shower, crying in earnest desperation for the life that the now me sometimes wishes away.

I wish I could tell her what the future holds, that it really is okay. I might even tell her to relax and enjoy her “now” while she can. But I expect she would tell me the same.

Because when I’m exhausted or frustrated or overwhelmed, it’s easy to forget that this is exactly what I wanted. That YOU, sweet child, are exactly what I wanted. That you are the answer to so many prayers, the rainbow after all the tear-filled nights, the missing piece that made our family complete. That every time I laugh at your antics or hold you when you’re crying, it is an amazing gift to be your mother.

Today you drew me a picture, and I cried. I held it in my hands, and you reminded me “dis for you, mama.”

And it is.

This picture, this sweet voice, this precious child whose very existence is a miracle, this crazy life that is far from perfect but is truly what I always wanted… it is. It is my own, personal, answered prayer. And while frustrations and challenges may be in greater supply today than sleep and vacations and showers, I would still choose this over and over again.    

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