Being a mother is a rush.

A rush to get them dressed in the morning. A rush to get your work done before picking them up. A rush to prepare dinner before blood sugar levels plummet into the danger zone. And then, in the midst of the rushing, when you least expect it, your child will say something so sweet, so funny, so brilliantly unexpected that suddenly you stop.

Like a game of pass-the-parcel, every child is an ever-unraveling gift to their mother. When the music stops and you are free to receive their gift, you are so still you can feel your heart in your chest expanding, leaving no room for emptiness. You are so grateful you want to cry because you have never known a love so deep and so pure. Because you feel guilty for every moment you have spent rushing to be anywhere other than by their side.

This is Motherhood; the dichotomy of never having a moment and never being so in the moment.

This is a mother’s love; trying to “get through” it, and trying to make time stand still so that nothing changes at all.

Our children grow up while we sleep. It is this that wakes us up to the reality that these precious days of carrying them snuggly on our out-of-alignment hip don’t last. The nights of them wiping their red spaghetti stained lips on our new dress and reading them seemingly endless bedtime stories, our own eyes barely able to stay open, will at some point also come to a close.

They will be replaced with other chapters and other stories. These early years will be a memory as beautiful and as impermanent as a smile, as distant and as central to our identity as our own youth. They will never vanish but they will fade, like an old photograph that only gains meaning with its diminishing clarity.

A mother’s job is to raise a child confident enough to leave her, yet buried deep in this hope is the melancholic knowing that they will always need their Mother. However, one day sooner than we imagine there will be no more bath time, no more blowing bubbles in the back garden, no more snuggling their Bunny next to them at bedtime.  At some point the warm afternoons of them running to us at school pick up, their arms outstretched, little legs propelling them forward, magical eyes large with excitement and love calling “Mommy! Mommy!” will cease.

Do not blame time. The greatest gift and greatest thief. It is because of this transience that we seek to hold our children so tightly, to inhale the sweet smell of the top of their head as if to bottle it for posterity and have the wisdom to put down our phones and instead take a million mental photographs.

Like all the great loves of a woman’s life, a mother’s love for her child is simultaneously enjoyed for its presence and mourned for its loss. But unlike all her other loves, a mother’s love never ends, because it becomes who she is.

She becomes a mother.

 

Article by Kathryn Eisman first published for Mini MAVEN magazine magazine. 

Photography: Kimberly Marciano 
Beauty: Andrew Zepeda 
Styling: Heather Rome 
Location: Laduree Beverly Hills

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