The oldest is afraid of spiders and has an ear for languages and the self-discipline to take math classes that would have me racing to the registrar to drop after the first five minutes. The day she was born, she didn't cry at first. I started to panic as the seconds ticked by before she let loose a wail putting me and everyone else in the room on notice that here was a force to be reckoned with. She is funny and fierce and has great taste in music and jewelry. I figured out early on that the best way to be her mother is to back her up when she wants to spread her wings and otherwise stay out of her way.
The boy shares my brown eyes and fear of heights, loves basketball and high jump, and drinks way more soda than is good for him. He doesn't like reading much, but he's a magician with Legos and a pretty good dancer. He's sentimental about things like Boston Bear, the teddy bear I bought him from the Gap at Faneuil Hall when he was two, and he is a loyal, devoted friend. I have learned we do better when I let him show me what he needs instead of assuming I know. Every once in awhile a little maternal strong-arming comes into play (he never would have figured out he loved basketball if I hadn't made him try it!), but I make a good faith effort to follow his lead. He plays DJ in the car in the morning and skips over songs that create awkward situations (either by content or language), and sometimes I ask him to add things to my playlists. He sends me a text every afternoon when he gets home from school that simply says "Food." I reply "Pantry," or "Refrigerator."
The youngest is sweet as sweet can be most of the time, but watch out for the storms that gather on her forehead and the scowl that twists her mouth if you cross her. She is a writer of letters and a leaver of surprises and a playful little imp who scatters kisses and "I love you!"s like confetti as she goes through her day. This Sunday at church she leaned over as the sermon started and confessed that she'd written her name in pen on the leather seat in the car. She is warm and funny and likes to wear party dresses with sparkly shoes. She has a weakness for temporary tattoos (see photo above) and those weird paper spa face masks, and I dread the day she doesn't want to hold my hand anymore. Mothering her means remembering to do stuff like leave the mail in the mailbox when I run home at lunch so that she can bring it in that evening.
No decision I've ever made has been wrong as long as I made it with them in mind. Since the first time I saw a plus sign on a pregnancy test when I was 22, the hard, healthy choices of motherhood have been essential to becoming the best version of myself. It's true I fall woefully short sometimes; when that happens we dust ourselves off and try again, and things usually turn out better the next time. Raising these three human beings is my most hopeful offering to the world.
With them, for them, through thick and thin: it is never easy, but my God, it is worth it.
Mother, photographer, writer. Expert in making things up as she goes and figuring things out along the way.