To my child, when I forget to feel lucky

mom holding baby close- i am so lucky
mom holding baby close- i am so lucky

It always happens in the still of night.

I come in to check on you one more time before I settle myself into bed for the night. I brush the hair off your forehead, adjust the blanket that you’ve swirled around your legs and kiss your soft, perfect little cheek—and it hits me with a force so hard it takes my breath away.

I am so lucky.

My life could have gone in a hundred different directions. Instead, here I am, getting to be your mom. You are my perfect. Everything about you is just as it should be, and I am overcome by love and gratitude.

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But sometimes, I forget.

Sometimes in the morning, I forget. I hear your little feet running down the hallway into my room, and that sweet raspy little voice saying, “Mommy, the sun is up outside!”

I smile, but my mind instantly starts racing to remember what’s on the schedule for the day. But then you climb into bed, all elbow and knees, and rest your little head on my chest for a few calm moments, and I remember—I am so lucky to have another day with you.

Sometimes over breakfast, I forget. You swing your legs under the table while you tell me a story that is a nonsensical combination of something you did on the playground and something you saw on “Paw Patrol.”

I half listen as I put together lunch boxes and find lost library books. But then you say, “Mommy, isn’t that so funny?” with your big toothless grin and your eyes shining bright, and I remember—I am so lucky to hear your stories.

Sometimes when we’re outside, I forget. You skip and sing in the front yard without a care in the world, while my brain is occupied with the stress of bills to pay, errands to run and phone calls to make. But then you say, “OK I’ll be Elsa, and you be Anna and Sven and the Snow Monster—and Mommy, do the voices,” and I remember—I am so lucky to watch your imagination soar.

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Sometimes at bedtime, I forget. Your teeth are brushed, your story is read, you’re tucked into bed, and it’s finally time when I can have a few moments of peace and quiet to myself. But then you get tears in your eyes and say, “Mom? My friend made me feel sad at school today”—and I remember, I am so lucky to be the one you trust.

Sometimes at night, I forget. I’ve just fallen asleep, my body heavy with exhaustion and I am jolted out of bed by your cry—“Mommy! I had a bad dream!” I lumber down the hallway sighing deeply because I know this means another long night and hard morning. But then you ask me to stay with you and rub your back, and I remember—I am so lucky to be the one that makes you feel safe.

Feeling lucky is not hard to remember.

I remember pretending to be a mom when I was a little girl, and hoping that one day my dolls would be real babies.

I remember falling in love with your dad, knowing that he was the one I wanted to be my child’s father.

I remember finding out I was pregnant with you, and just sobbing because I was so, so happy.

And I remember exactly how it felt when the midwife laid you on my chest for the first time, all squirmy and wet and perfect.

So when life gets busy, when my mind races and my attention wanders, please know that I know how profoundly lucky I am to be your mom.

A version of this post was published October 3, 2017. It has been updated by Motherly editors.