I have fine little lines on my body from growing them. My eldest daughter tells me that she loves me because I’m soft. I don’t know if she’s referring to my body or my heart or my skin.
I have wrinkles and lines on my face that didn’t use to be there. Some days I have dark circles underneath my eyes from when they wake up too early in the morning or when they can’t or won’t fall asleep. When they won’t lie down and they want some water or they need to pee. My back is soar from last night when they laid on top of me because they had a fever and I couldn’t bear the thought of them lying alone in their beds.
It seems as if my little one can only take a few steps when we walk around town or on our way to kindergarten. She lays down flat on the pavement insisting that I have to carry her. And I don’t want to carry her. Well, actually I do want to carry her. I want to carry her the rest of my life. But she’s getting too big and heavy and I know my duty as her mother is to teach her that she has to walk herself. Some days I leave her lying there until she gets up, while I can feel passing strangers looking at me, while I try to ignore their thoughts.
Other days I pick her up because she says things like ‘I can’t walk because I just want you mommy’. And she’ll smile when I lift her and we’re face to face. And I know that smile. She celebrates her little victory and I secretly celebrate mine, because I actually love carrying her. Until my arms can’t carry her weight and I have to put her down. And then we’re back to square one. She lays flat on the pavement. And my arms are soar.
My daughters leave a mark in my heart only mothers can feel and only mothers can know. My heart is soar from loving and worrying and from being overwhelmed by their affectionate little arms around my hips or my neck. They leave marks on my body. I’m like a map of motherhood.