Today, I was humbled. Being humbled is something that moms are experts in. So, that’s where I found myself.
I was standing in front of a full-length mirror trying to find a swim suit that flattered my post-motherhood body. In case you are wondering, that is zero swimming suits. Especially considering I was doing hypothetical toddler rescues and contorting my body into the possible positions that would be required to extract my offspring out of whatever questionable situation he decides to insert his little body. It turns out, it doesn’t matter how many months you go without eating cheese or chocolate (twelve, to be exact-and it was only by the grace of God that I lived to tell about it). Your post-baby body just isn’t the same as your pre-baby body. I am proud of my body. I am proud that it not only grew a human, it also sustained that human’s life through his first year. That’s stinking amazing. But, it still doesn’t change the fact that I have a small pile of tiny little bikinis in the back of my dresser drawer that I know good and well aren’t ever going to see sunshine again. Let me know what year of parenthood you finally decide to donate those type of suits. This summer is the summer of donating my jean shorts that are shorter than the pockets of same said jean shorts. Give me some grace and let me keep the bikinis. I can only sacrifice one part of my pre-motherhood identify at a time.
Regardless, I came to the conclusion that this particular swimsuit would not work for my extremely relaxing pool days full of toddler-herding. I put it back in the box and sat it on the table to tape up and return to the post office the following day.
At some point between then and the moment I picked it up to get ready to return it, the box got heavier.
At some point, a small boy had inserted seven small dinosaurs.
I smiled. I imagined how hard he must have worked: carrying each dinosaur over, climbing onto a chair, balancing his body just right so he could stretch those tiny things he calls “feen-guhs” out to reach the box, using fine motor skills he did not have just months ago to squeeze the dinosaurs through the rips in the cardboard, carefully considering how to get down, and doing so successfully.
In that exact moment, I was humbled.
Not when I was looking at myself in a swim suit that accentuated all the parts of me I wish looked different.
Not when I imagined which sections of my body would flop around dangerously in the suit while I was sprinting after a small child.
Not when I was trying to stuff the suit back into a box I had ripped open like an actual rabid raccoon out of excitement.
But right then, when I found seven plastic prehistoric creatures stuffed into the box by a little boy who is my greatest gift.
I was humbled because I know I need to slow down.
This part of life is all too fleeting.
His second birthday is in two months.
His eighteenth birthday will come soon after.
I will miss chasing little boys in my bathing suit.
I will miss cleaning muddy hand prints off of every. single. thing.
I will miss waking up at 3 AM when he is scared, but a hug from me can settle all of his fears.
I will miss the sound of his little feet.
I will miss being called mama 482 times a day.
Today, I was humbled by seven small dinosaurs.
Today, I was reminded to be thankful and cherish every second.
Today, I remembered that he is my most precious gift.
I need to make sure to be the best steward.
Here’s to you, mama.
May you celebrate today with your little people.
May you avoid unknowingly shipping plastic dinos to Amazon.
May you love your most precious gifts.
And, if you get super lucky, may you even get to drink your entire cup of coffee.