I want you to know that weekday mornings in this season are fast and furious. Getting both of you dressed and fed and out the door by 7:45 doesn’t seem like it should be that hard, but somehow, it is. Which is why it’s usually 8:05 by the time we actually head out. And every morning when I inevitably end up rushing you a bit, I feel so very guilty. Guilty that I’m preoccupied knowing I’ll be the last one on my team into the office. Guilty that my limited time with you is being diverted when I pause to scan emails. Guilty that your days are longer than mine.
I want you to know that every morning we pack water bottles, extra clothes, a wet bag for the clothes that end up too dirty to wear home, diapers, wipes, and a lovey for nap time (who absolutely must travel to and from school everyday, despite attempts to have him reside in your cubby). You get probiotics and non-toxic bug spray, your hair is done and your clothes (occasionally) match. You get so many hugs and kisses at drop off (and a kissing hand or love rock or whatever other ritual is encouraged at school). We do our best to be at your Halloween parades, Valentines lunches, Mother’s Day breakfasts and parent reading days. Your dad and I have taken turns chaperoning some crazy field trips over the past four years.
I want you to know that when both parents work out of the home full time, things can be hard and messy. The systems in this country fail to honor these precious caregiver roles as they ought to. But I accept those challenges, because I want you to know what you are capable of, what you can pursue, and that I didn’t lose myself when you joined our family – rather, I grew. Most of all, I want to fight in my own small ways to change things in the world, so that maybe they can be better, easier and more equitable for you.
I want you to know that not a night goes by when I don’t check on you. I re-tuck blankets, put away stray toys and stare at you in awe. I end every single day with a fully overwhelming sense of gratitude for you both. For your health and happiness, and for the gift of being your mother.
There’s no standard to which one can reach as a parent and exhale with any sense of certainty. I’m not perfect and I don’t want to be. I want to be perfect for you, and that’s a journey that continues one day at a time. One bedtime story and band-aid and sippy cup at a time. And for all the things I could do better, more patiently or with fewer deep sighs, I want you to know how deeply my entire identity is built upon the endless joy, laughter, snuggles and lessons you both bring to our lives everyday.