The Bittersweet Paradox of Motherhood

As I was getting ready to put my sweet baby Bea down for her nap this morning, she reached her tiny hand up and around my neck as if to say, “Don’t put me down just yet, Mama.”

So I didn’t.  I held her and smelled her and tried to soak in as much of her baby-ness as I could.

Then I told her a secret.  (Babies are excellent at keeping secrets.)  I told her that every fiber of my being wants to be able to hold her just as she is right now forever.  I want her sweet baby voice to stay exactly as it is.  I don’t want her hair to grow in any more than it has.  I want her four and two halves teeth to stay just as they are.  I want her to always feel like nothing to carry and smell exactly as she does right now.


I also told her that I cannot wait to hear her first words, to watch her first steps, to know what color her eyes and hair will end up, and to corral the latter together into its first pigtails.  I can’t wait to find out who she’s going to be, to watch her run and play with her sisters, to hear her sing her first song and know if she can carry a tune.  Will she be a lefty or a righty?  A tomboy or frilly pink princess?  Will she be kind and have a soft heart? Will she love the Lord?  (Oh, how I pray that she and her sisters all will… every day.)

She didn’t say a lot.  Just kind of looked at me like, ‘Mom, what are you going on about now?’

This is what motherhood is like to me every day.  My heart is in two places all the time.  I want to freeze time, and I want to race into the future, just to take a peak at how it’s all going to turn out.  I want to capture every moment and hold onto it, but I want to be fully in that moment, too.  There is just nothing for it but to squeeze my girls every day for as long as they’ll let me and thank God for the privilege of borrowing them from Him for these short years.

6 thoughts on “The Bittersweet Paradox of Motherhood

  1. *sniff, sniff* pass a stinkin’ tissue! OH JODI how sweet! After James turned 4months, I remember asking my husband if I never fed him solid food would he stay this size forever??? Oh I just love right now, and hope beyond all hopes that I can keep these memories as fresh as they are today!! Happy Mother’s Day!!

  2. Jodi, how lovely! You’ve just put into words my thoughts recently – and, I imagine, the thoughts of all mothers. It’s especially bittersweet for me watching Wyatt get bigger, as I know he’s my last.

    Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

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