Dear Sarah, Lauren, Zachary and Nathan,
You probably didn’t think Mommy would have a special note for you on Mother’s Day! Each of you has been gushing about the special projects you’ve been working on at school for me.
Homemade gifts are the best. But, the gift of no fighting, is my favorite of all! (hint, hint)
I wanted to give a little something special to you too.
All my life I thought about my future children. I imagined us all sitting around our dinner table talking about life. I’d imagine narrating interesting parts of my life to you. Like, that time I was too timid to ask my Brownie troop leader where the bathroom was, and instead of letting out just a drop to provide a little much needed relief, I ended up releasing Niagara Falls on the Drosos family’s kitchen floor.
As I stood, mortified, in a sea of my bodily fluid, I’ll never forget the look on Andrea’s big sister’s face. She just stood there, mouth hanging open; with huge, disbelieving eyes, staring at the giant golden lake, and at me. I was absolutely horrified, and age 8 is way too old for a potty accident. Never be afraid to ask where the bathroom is, kids!
Although I could never clearly see your faces, or hear your voices, I knew I loved you deeply. Already. Tears would well in my eyes, as my mind would drift to the future. I knew I’d meet you one day. I longed to see you. Know you. Hold you.
Each one of you was planned. Wanted. I’ve been asked, more than once, if all of you kids were “planned”. The answer, without a second of hesitation, is yes. Mommy and Daddy dreamed of each and every single one of long before you breathed your first breath. Someone once said to me that they’d never have four kids, because it would be too hard to visit Disneyland. That’s certainly never been a problem in our family.
When I was 29 years old, I found out I was pregnant with Baby Sarah. We weren’t sure I was going to be able to have any babies. Before Sarah, I miscarried a baby. That means another baby lived inside of me who died before they were born. It just about broke me. It seemed like forever before I became pregnant again. But, finally it happened! This time, the doctor gave me special medicine to help you grow inside of me. Daddy had to overcome his life-long fear of needles and learn to administer injections in Mommy’s buns. (Stop laughing, at the word buns, boys.)
It was not looking good when Daddy turned as white as a sheet, began sweating and had to lie down in the doctor’s office, while the nurse taught him how to do this. But, guess what? He did it! He gave me those shots for many weeks. He did it during my pregnancy with Nathan too. And oh my, they made me sick. I was sick with all of you while I was pregnant, but never as sick as I was with Sarah. Every one of you was worth the months and months of barfing and feeling like a giant whale.
Speaking of needles. Do NOT ever get a tattoo. Trust me on this one. You might think you want one — when you’re a teenager, going through your weird-o, wanna-be hippy, listen to 70’s music, hang out in coffee shops on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley phase. Oh, wait. That might’ve been me. Tattoos are permanent, kids. Removals are pricey. If you’re feeling a little zesty in those teen years, maybe go for a temporary henna deal, or…or nothing. Lots of unsavory ideas come to mind. But, just know that you’ll regret it later.
Sarah was the one who taught me how to be a mommy. I’d read all of the books about how to be a mom while I was pregnant. But, nothing you read in a book can really, truly prepare you for what lies ahead. They say you don’t know what love is until you have a child. They are right. I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love my children. Yes, of course I love Daddy, but that’s a different love.
New at the Mommy gig.
A child is like your heart existing outside your body. I feel deeply on behalf of each of you. When you are sad, I’m sad for you. When you’re happy, I am too. I’m super protective of you all, just like a great big Mama Bear. You are a part of me. My love for you is deep like the vast ocean and vast like the sapphire sky.
Zachary felt nervous and unsure about going on his very first kindergarten field trip last week. After everyone left for school, he had a nervous tummy and tears. I knew he’d end up loving the field trip. But, convincing Mr. Z, can be a difficult task. We dried those tears and I held his hand tightly as we walked into class that morning. He was trying his best to put on his game face, but I knew. My eyes grew watery and a big lump formed in my throat as I watched my brave little boy climb onto that big yellow school bus. I feel what you feel.
You ended up having the best time.
I felt you, as babies growing inside of me. I loved you from the second I knew of your existence. I watched you on the ultrasound screen in the doctor’s office grow from the size of a grain of rice, to a gummy bear, to an apple, right up to a tiny baby. You kicked me from the inside, and I could feel you growing stronger. Sometimes you woke me up at night by kicking and moving around. Lauren and Zachary, you were the strongest! Lauren was dancing, I’m sure and Zachary was practicing his swimming kicks. That fluttering in my belly and your hiccupping was a gentle, reassuring reminder that a tiny person was living within me.
God has given you a life and you need to live it to the fullest. Live your life for God; not for yourself. That means that you talk to and listen to God. You follow what he tells you. Trust in Him. The times in my life that I’ve forgotten to do this have been the toughest.
You will make mistakes. Lots of them. But that doesn’t mean that you give up. Don’t fall into the trap of peer pressure. You can learn valuable lessons from things that don’t go as you hoped they would in your life. I’m always here for you, if you need to talk. I’m a good listener. I’ll even pledge not to post our conversation on Facebook.
Please be respectful, and kind to others. A little act of kindness to another, can go a long way. Remember that. Put others first. By giving back, and serving others, you will feel fulfilled and happy. Remember that time we made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and toiletry bags for the homeless in downtown Santa Ana? We were all a little nervous driving around in that part of town, where lots of homeless people live. Then, we walked around and delivered the things we’d brought. It felt good to help others.
I love each one of you. And no, I do not have a favorite child. I was asked that once, recently. It caught me off guard, because it was something I’d never even considered. Each of you is so different. So unique. Sometimes I wonder how it’s possible that four children, all born from the same parents could turn out so differently. I hope you feel like we celebrate your individual qualities.
I want each of you to feel special for just being you. No accomplishment of yours will ever make me love you more than I already do. You are enough. Just be you.
Thank you; each of you, for making me a Mommy.
I love you.