Friday, February 4, 2022

heartbreak to heartburst

Nobody tells you motherhood will break and rebreak your heart, hundreds of times over. That having kids is like having your heart exit your body and walk around outside of you, unprotected and vulnerable to attack. 

Nothing prepares you for the moment when you find out your child is struggling, that her "friends" are ignoring her, telling her that her ideas are stupid, and then stealing the very same idea they declared unworthy and adopting it with pride as their own. Nothing prepares you for the times she won't receive an invitation, where she will have to sit through the excited chatter on Monday morning, classmates reminiscing over the weekend gathering where she was not welcome. 

Nobody tells you to prepare yourself for the art contests they will lose, the teams they will be cut from. How you will sit with them through hard life lessons, all the while telling them that you would have voted for their masterpiece, chosen them for your team. How they will roll their eyes and declare, "You have to say that because you're my Mom."

Nothing breaks your heart like hearing she is wandering the perimeter of the playfield alone at recess. Or him telling you that he doesn't want to go to school because his friends won't play with him. There is nothing like motherhood to make you perpetually question whether you are actually really screwing them up. 

Nobody tells you that motherhood will trigger your every insecurity, that you will be forced to relive your middle school years again, this time through the eyes of your Beloveds. They will worry about how they will find their classes, who they will eat lunch with, whether they can remember their locker combination. Nobody warns you that you will lose just as much sleep over these anxieties as they will.

Nothing prepares you for the fire motherhood will light within you, the fierceness with which you will go to bat on their behalf. Sometimes this will look like emailing the teacher, calling the principal, texting the parent of the child with whom she is having the conflict. Fighting the good fight. Yet most of the time, it seems, it looks like biting the tongue, outfitting oneself in the motherhood armor of quiet presence, sitting and holding vigil while they ride life's waves. Sorting through your own triggers that are poked at right and left as they find their way in the safety net of your loving care.

And then.

Nothing prepares you for the moment someone sees your kid. When a teacher tells you, their mind is incredible. I've never seen a child do a math problem that way, but it works. When someone observes their gifting of leadership gifts and communicates it to you. When you are affirmed that moving him to a new school was absolutely the right choice for him. When a friend texts you to call out their strengths. When they remind you of the creative, kind and amazing humans you are raising. Nothing feels better than the moment they receive an unexpected invitation, how they come alive with excitement and hope. Nothing prepares you for the explosion of pride you feel when they sing the solo, score the goal, speak a word of encouragement to their sister, befriend the child who is in tears and alone.

Motherhood. It takes you from heartbreak to heartburst in three second tops. What a ride!

1 comment:

  1. You're doing an incredible job of raising your kids, Kelsie! But what you said is so, so true! Parenting often means bearing the heartbreak of others. It also means that you get to celebrate their joys and successes. But be forewarned: the heartbreak (and the heartbursts) won't end once the kids are grown!


posted by kelsie