I know you’re already a mom. You’ve transitioned beautifully into that role over two years ago. You’ve taught me so much about love and sacrifice from the way you parent Peyton. I know in the future, I will be coming to you to listen to your wisdom about keeping your head in the crazy times.
In many ways, there’s not much I can teach you about motherhood. But I want to talk to you about this little tiny baby you’re making. This little infant making space in your body, your home and your heart: you’re going to be his mommy. And I want to tell you what this wild ride of being a baby mommy is like because that’s something I do know about.
You and I were never “kid people”. We rarely got called to babysit. We were never the girls at parties holding other people’s babies. Baby talk from parents always annoyed us. Our mouths wrinkled into frowns when ever something cute was on display. We can’t define cute really, but it usually involved something fluffy with enormous eyes looking at us like, “Love me”. And we were like, “Um, no.”
I think you always hated that stuff more than me, or at least your reaction was stronger than mine, but this is definitely one thing we had in common.
I think we always knew we would grow up to be mothers, some faraway day, but we were in no hurry. Because really, who trades disposable income and personal freedom for poop, lack of sleep, and demanding, whiny voices? We knew we could delay motherhood as long as we needed to. It would probably do the world good.
But something strange happened when we both got married. We were enjoying our husbands and the solo couple life just fine, and then one day it hit us: this weird belly ache that felt like a desire to be a mom. It’s a curious thing for the girl who doesn’t like kids to want one. But it’s okay. They tell you your kid is different. And I can assure you that it is.
Now you’re going to be a mom to little Max. I’m so excited for you. As we are planning your baby shower, I’m well aware that you want to avoid lots of squishy, cute stuff. I don’t blame you. But you have no idea what you’re in for. You have no idea how your heart is about to get wrecked by motherhood.
It happened to me too. My son emerged from my womb, and all of the sudden my mouth, once fully functional with adult language, melted my words at my lips. Everything I stood for about speaking like a grown-up to a child, for crying out loud, went right out the window. Suddenly all I could manage were a lot of vowel sounds and words that started with B. “What have I become?” I lamented to myself. But I didn’t really mind that much. My son deserved the outrageous pool of affection I poured on him every day.
I had no idea at all I was about to label everything, including bodily functions, as “cute “. Before I knew it, I didn’t even mind those obnoxious, giant-eyed jungle animals staring back at me from the nursery bedding.
I lost my mind, but it was for a good cause. And I want you to know that this is exactly what’s about to happen to you. You’re about to lose your dignity, and you won’t mind at all. Because something you love far more than dignity and cute animal protests is about turn your heart into a puddle.
You are about to get the least amount of sleep you’ve ever gotten in your life. I promise it’s even less than college. And somehow you’ll survive. You’ll be living on love. It’s the weirdest thing I can explain. Well, I can’t explain it. When Max cries at night, you will be upset that you have to go and get him – again. But when you see his face, all the mad will evaporate. You will suddenly realize that you don’t want to be anywhere else in the world. Well, sometimes you will wish you were somewhere else, like in your bed asleep, but still, it’s surprising how powerful something that only weighs seven pounds can be.
This will be the hardest thing you have ever done. It will be harder than your Master’s program. It will be even harder than teaching every day. And I know that’s extremely challenging. It will be harder then parenting, as you already do, and it will be harder than marriage. But you won’t regret it. Nope. You will want to lock yourself in the bathroom for a few hours, or run off to happy hour with the girls, but you won’t ever wish yourself out of motherhood. But I guess this is the part you already know about.
You’re going to be a natural, Jazz. I know it already. I’ve seen it in your enormous love for your bonus son, and in your growing, generous heart for your nephews. And even if you’ve loathed rainbows and puppies and unicorns your entire life, and even you never really could get too excited about other people’s kids, it’s just because you’ve been saving all your love for this little one.
I can’t wait to see how suprised you will be by all the love you didn’t know you had. I’m so proud of you, and I’m so glad we get to be baby-mommies together. I love you.