A mother’s heart

My heart catches a little, sometimes a lot, when I see their faces. In person, in jpgs from my pictures folders, on Facebook or Instagram. My heart catches because they’re so cute. My heart catches because I am their mother. What is it about a mother’s heart?

How did I get a mother’s heart?

How did they happen? I didn’t deserve it. I didn’t want it.

These three know by now that I take everything they tell me about their future with a big chunk of salt because this was my line:

I’m going to travel and write. I won’t settle. Not down, not in one place, not for one person. I’m a free spirit. Oh . . . and I’ll never be a teacher.

My life would have been full without them, without my students, without any of the things I didn’t plan for. But my life is full in ways I couldn’t have imagined with my children.

To be clear: My path is not more brilliant than those whose experiences are foreign to APGAR, possible CPD, Pitocin, or a lake of Amniotic Fluid at the nursery window of the labor and delivery unit. You don’t have to be a mom to feel your heart catch for your blessings. You don’t have to be a mom to live a blessed and full life.  While we hold up our children for all the good reasons, the paths of the childless-by-destiny or childless-by-choice are also filled with value and unexpected blessings that catch their hearts.

My path included APGAR, possible CPD, Pitocin, and a lake of Amniotic Fluid at the nursery window of the labor and delivery unit. These three humans are my surprise, my unexpected blessings, and I’m deeply grateful.

mother's heart

Mom on the morning of her 80th birthday reading messages from people in her life. She’s so much more than my mom.

My heart catches when I see their faces because, even as I crested a quarter of a century, I never wanted or imagined motherhood for myself. This could have been dreadful for all of us! But they are my blessing. I’m grateful for these humans who littered my path. For every lego that dug into my heel, every ribbon that caught my toes, every piece of goo that stuck to my shoe, every chunk of love that caught my heart, I’m grateful.

Happy Mother’s Day

This weekend, as we celebrate moms, I lift up my gratitude for these unexpected blessings in my life. I also lift up the others who gathered around me and have been mothers to my children. You are too many to name. Not all of you have children (you don’t have to be a mom to be a mom), but all of you have mothered and blessed my blessings.

I lift up my mom. I’m nothing without her. Growing up, she wasn’t like all the other moms. I didn’t always value the difference, especially in my youth. My mom, my coach, my mentor, my listener: she set the bar higher for depth, endurance, uniqueness, and patience of love. She gave me my grit, and I lift her high.

I am ever the lucky one who had the mom she didn’t always appreciate and the children she never expected. My heart catches.

©Copyright Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2018