Recently, (at a friend's wedding) I was slapped in the face by one of those totally-awesome-I-must-rock-at-being-a-mom moments. (Yep, I said it. Because it is true.)
My String Bean and Jumping Bean were flower girls...I was a bridesmaid....and I was nervous as all get out that my children would behave horribly. You know, behave in a way that could win us a million dollars or something on America's Funniest Videos for their fits in the aisle...or the dress being drawn over one of their heads while standing at the front (they wore white underwear - not princess panties - specifically to ward off that behavior)....or picking their nose and wiping it on their sister's dress. But - and it is hard to say this - as much as a million dollars would be nice...I think our family honor, reputation, and friendship with the bride and groom is a bit high of a price to pay.
None of that really has anything to do with the point. It is basically just to show you that I, in fact, would need 2 million to make it worth it.
Anyway, as my beans and I were sitting on the front row during the ceremony - String Bean to my right, Jumping Bean on my lap - I was crying.
Before you judge me - remember I had just said goodbye to My Love, hadn't slept in 3 days, was watching two dear friends declare their love for one another....and I am pregnant. (None of that really is a recipe for stoicism.)
In my Bean's defense - Mommy randomly crying is really not news. They are quite used to it. It doesn't scare them or unnerve them; they just pat my arm, or hand, and give me a tissue.
I am really rambling.
Thankfully, they not only walked down the aisle perfectly...they stood at the front like angels! No picking of noses, no fidgeting, no freaking out. It was amazing. I knew at that moment I had arrived. I had this mom-thing down.
(Side bar - during the majority of the ceremony, the bridal party sat down in the 2nd row.)
All of a sudden during the vows - Jumping Bean turned around in my lap, cupped my face with her hands, and said "Mommy, I love you." Then she kissed me. Highly abnormal behavior for her...utter treat for me.
Didn't really help with me getting control of myself.
Just moments after that exchange, String Bean looked up at my face with glistening eyes and whispered, "Mommy, I'm not sad...my heart is just so happy it squeezed tears out! Can I have a tissue?" Of course, I had plenty to spare.
So, while there are moments that the pain of motherhood - the sleepless nights, the worry, the expense, the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual battering - feels overwhelming and all consuming; they are (thankfully) not all you get.
There are moments of extreme joy and comfort and happiness....
Where your heart is just so happy it squeezes tears out.
And that is the beautiful dichotomous gift that is motherhood.