For some reason, I always had this lofty idea that being a mom meant reading good quality books to your kids, tucking them in at night with heirloom quilts and admiring their cherubic faces as they slept on soft, fluffy pillows covered in happy colored pillow cases.
What I didn't know was that good quality books quickly turn into well used and over-read-dog-eared-paged stacks of paper that used to be bound in those novel things call "books."
And as for tucking the said kids at night, using heirloom quilts on beds that tend to be frequently washed, is a recipe for extinguishing all heirloom quilts from our generation. Besides, whatever type of blanket or covering you use to tuck your kids in at night with, that article of bed clothing soon takes on an heirloom look with all the washings and forts and tents and tug-a-war games that it ends up being used for.
I never realized how drab looking the brightly colored pillow cases get with many washings. Or the bloody-nose stains that are sure to happen. Or how long it takes for their faces to become cherubic looking after they finally lay their sweet heads on the fluffy pillows. I didn't realize that drinks and bathroom runs and "Mom! I'm scared" and "DAAAAAADDDDDYYYYY! There's a lion in my room" sobs that would trail out the dimly lit bedroom doors long after bedtime. Oh, and the spiders that always appear right at bedtime, right along with those lions.
But the smiles these kids greet you with just after the rising of the sun the next morning, now THAT'S what motherhood is all about. And the hugs and the snuggles. And the "Mom, I wuv you so much!" are the words that put perspective on each trying circumstance that may happen between morning and bedtime.
And someday, I just know, our bookshelves will be lined with pleasantly bound books. And brightly colored pillowcases will grace the heirloom quilted beds. And I'll go to bed at night and my house will be quiet and the chatter and cries from those toy-strewn bedrooms will be silent. No spiders or lions will plague my quiet evening. And I'll be able to relax, put my feet up and not have to endure the endless era of bedtime that used to happen every night.
Then the next morning, I will greet the day alone. Without the heralding laughter of kids and toys and noise and breakfast cereal strewn all over the dining room table.
And I'd give anything to hear the "Mom, I wuv you so much!" tokens of bliss that used to fill my days. Yes, I'd even give up my neatly kept, heirloom-quilted-bedrooms of silence for just one more disruptive and chaotic evening.
Because motherhood ends way too fast.