The Story Gallery
You never knew the joy of your own mother until you had girls of your own. The shopping trips to Spokane, the giggling and gossiping at Starbucks on a rainy day. Then again, you never quite knew heartbreak like your mother until you had girls of your own.
The ones that together once a year and laugh too hard. The loud cackles where everyone looks. You're the ones that tell stories of bee bee guns, sneaking into dad's beer, and the walking up "The Hill" both ways in snow up to your nostrils.
Your son screams and belly-laughs with glee as the snow flies off his boots. The sun shines on your husbands face, and you've never seen him so happy, except for on your wedding day. It's time for school - which can't happen until legs fly and babies scream.
You never have to worry about wearing brown with black. About rolling out of bed disheveled and in your sweats with bed head. About saying something random that makes sense to you, but nobody else.
His head fits perfectly under your chin. You look down and see his long, black eyelashes. His warm cheek presses on your bare shoulder. There's nothing better on a winters day.
...until you had your first baby. And then you watched them fly kites at sunset & ride bikes down the alleyways. And you loved him even more.
Your Irish blood. The row house your parents raised you in where spanking was never looked down on. Your mother taught you how to bake banana bread, table manners and to always give more than you receive. Your father taught you to be strong when everyone is crying, that sometimes tough love means discipline. Now it's your time to teach.
For afternoon walks in flip flops, and evening walks in sweaters. For shoulder rides. For hot cocoa in the morning, and iced tea in the afternoon. For back to school shopping. For tossing out tennis shoes that are already too small. For the first frost. For the first colored leaves.
You can't touch it. You can't pack up your bags and move away.
It's a feeling.
It's your 5-year-old hugging your leg and saying he loves you, 5 minutes after you screamed at him for spilling his apple juice.
It's knowing you are always loved, no matter what you do.
She wants to be a nurse and wear scrubs. She wants to wear mascara, apricot blush and perfect plum lipstick. You are her hero, but unlike Superman or Wonder-woman, your superpower is knowing when she needs home-made chocolate chip cookies or a tickle fight to cure her woes.
He's the silly boy that dances like a robot in the grocery store. The one that when you pick him up from daycare, screaches with delight, enough to stop the rest of the kids from playing with plastic fruit and superman action figures. "This is my Mommy!" He shrills, as if you were more important than the game of hide-and-go-seek & birthday cupcakes being passed out. And to him, you are.
They’re 18 years of sacrifice, sleepless nights waiting for them to come home, tears and laughter. You’ve never felt this proud of your family in your life.
You wake before he cries, answering to his 2 am ooh's and ah's of a hungry baby. You feel like a walking zombie during the day, sometimes unsure if something happened or if it were a dream. But you don't mind it - because he is a part of you. An innocent, sweet, cuddly baby that you would give up much, much more for than your sleep.