On a typical day I wake up around 6am. I meditate for twenty minutes, shower, get dressed, unload the dishwasher while eating my breakfast, pack up Emmy’s snacks, water bottle and cup of milk for school. I do all the things I need to do so that when she wakes up I can be there when she opens her door and says, “Mama, I waited for the light to turn green!”
You see Emmy has a special clock set for 7am. At this time it turns green signaling it’s time for her to get out of bed. That’s when our day together begins.
Emmy then picks out a pair of undies so she can change out of her night time pull up. I grab her Minnie Mouse cup full of milk and my coffee, and we head to the couch. Some mornings she’s grumpy and whiny, others she’s talkative and chatty, others she’s just quiet. Some mornings she protests changing out of her pull up. Others she does her famous joke. Mimicking a line from a Mickey Mouse Christmas movie she holds onto her weighted pull up and says, “If I eat any more turkey, I’m gonna need new clothes!” We laugh and oftentimes daddy is there laughing too. She then happily changes into her big girl undies.
Always, always, we snuggle up together and she plays with my hair as she drinks her milk from her Minnie Mouse cup.
It’s not lost on me that she used to play with my hair as she nursed, and then as she bottle fed. Drinking milk and playing with mommy’s hair has been a consistent comfort for her whole life so far. As much as it sometimes tries my patience when I’m not in the mood for my hair to be tousled and pulled, I know it’s a precious ritual that I’ll one day look back on and miss. So, it continues on, day after day.
Some days we sit in silence snuggling together after she finishes her milk. Other days daddy is there too chatting with her. Most days “Momeo” (Romeo) our Rhodesian Ridgeback comes wandering out, plants himself in the same spot and stares, expecting his first scoop of food.
We often put on the TV or she asks for her “scream” (iPad) and she quietly enters the day. I wander away and continue doing all the things I need to do to keep our lives running smoothly. Feed the dog, pack up the stroller, make her breakfast, walk the dog. Oh, and somewhere in this all I take my first sip of coffee- always magical.
Every day, within all the minutia and chores, I am there- steady and consistent. I am the mama I always wanted to be.
I couldn’t sleep tonight because I began thinking that there may be a morning soon where mommy is at the hospital having baby brother, and I’m not there for the morning ritual. As much as I know that it’s okay- as much as I know she will be totally fine in the care of her loving grandparents- my heart hurts knowing I won’t be there with my hair as she drinks her milk.
And it’s more than that. It’s knowing so much won’t be the same once baby brother arrives. It just can’t be. So, I cry thinking of all the shifts about to occur. I cry because endings are hard no matter how beautiful the next beginning will be.
As a mom there are so many details. There is so much to be done. There are so many intricacies that make up my day. All of these things are mostly silent and unseen, but all are molded and centered around this one precious girl. Soon my attention will be divided into the details of two, and I wonder how that can be.
Tonight I mourn the loss of our endless time alone together. Our quiet and calm Minnie Mouse Cup mornings will soon take a shift as I recover from birth and nurse a new life.
While I mourn I also feel hopeful. Although our mornings may become very messy and chaotic for a while, eventually we will land at a new normal. We will find a new way to start the day that involves the two souls daddy and I love and dedicate ourselves to.
There will be soon new version of our Minnie Mouse cup mornings that involves the endless details that mothering two children brings, and at that point my heart will have multiplied in size and what is more beautiful than that?