Tuesday, November 30, 2010

30 Days of Thanks—Day #6

I am grateful to my dear, sweet, incredible child for a gift that no one else could have given me. All my life, I have suffered from a dearth of confidence—despite my achievements, my good values, the high quality of my friends, and all other objective evidence that I’m a pretty good person living a pretty good life, I have lived most of my life just waiting for everyone to uncover the “real” me and see that I’m just a fraud and not nearly the person everyone seems to think I am.

Until I became Hudson’s mother. So many people have told me again and again over the past six months that I am an amazing mother. Unlike so many times before when people have said similar things about my academics or my work or other parts of my life, this time, I believe them. As I’ve written before, becoming Hudson’s mother brought more meaning to my life than anything I’d ever experienced. But just as importantly, it allowed me, finally, to see myself as others saw me, to actually have confidence in who I was and what I was doing as Hudson’s mom. Of all the things I have ever done and all the things I have ever been, I feel certain that I was really, really good at being Hudson’s mom. I feel certain that I was a pretty great mom, actually. As I’ve also said before, I have very few regrets over things done or left undone in Hudson’s life, and the few that I have are about trivial matters. I have no regrets about the big things. I am so grateful to my girl for giving me such an amazing gift when she was born. In all the dark days that still remain, particularly the ones where I fear I may often question my judgment as a mother, I will try to remember this gift Hudson gave me and remember that I did pretty okay the first time around.

Thank you, my girl.  Mommy loves you so much. 


  1. Your energy as a mother is what always set you apart in my eyes. You didn't ever seem to tire of the things that can feel monotonous about parenting-- in fact, you met them with joy and excitement. You talk often of Hudson's love for the world-- I am certain that her love was just a reflection of your delight in the world with her in it. As hard as this time is, you can remember and draw on that to get you through each day, and it will shape the life of the Penguin, too.

  2. You write "becoming Hudson’s mother brought more meaning to my life than anything I’d ever experienced." I can attest that it showed every time I saw you with Hudson. You glowed!

  3. Hudson's legacy: Making you realize what a wonderful Mom you are. Lucky, lucky Penguin!

  4. There is no gift more precious than motherhood...there is a quote that I'd like to share with Mandy. It's a bit long, and I apologize for that, but it really speaks to the wonderful joys of becoming a mom for that first time.

    *I didn't write this. I don't know who did, and I don't remember from where I picked it up. I've had this saved for a while ~ it doesn't matter how many times I re-read it, it kinda chokes me up every time. Motherhood is lots of things, and this captures it perfectly. Enjoy.

    "Before I was a Mom ~
    I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
    I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
    I never thought about immunizations.

    Before I was a Mom ~
    I had never been puked on.
    Pooped on.
    Chewed on.
    Peed on.
    I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
    I slept all night.

    Before I was a Mom ~
    I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests.
    Or give shots.
    I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
    I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
    I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

    Before I was a Mom ~
    I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put him down.
    I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
    I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
    I never knew that I could love someone so much.
    I never knew I would love being a Mom.

    Before I was a Mom ~
    I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
    I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
    I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
    I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

    Before I was a Mom ~
    I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
    I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
    I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much...before I was a Mom."

    Hudson has opened the door for you, Mandy, and it is so clear that you have embraced the world of mommyhood. As the person above said...Lucky Penguin! :)


  5. What a beautiful sentiment. Such a beautiful gift, so wonderfully expressed. As always, thanks for sharing these amazing testaments of love for your beautiful little girl.


  6. Thinking of you today.


  7. You are so clearly a wonderful mother, and I'm glad you know it. I'm thinking of you and your family today.

  8. You were clearly a wonderful mother to Hudson and will be to the Penguin.

    I was already thinking of you this morning when I opened my email to find one from Amazon advertising the Melissa & Doug stuffed penguin you found. When I opened the email, I saw that directly below the picture of the penguin was a picture of a giant stuffed sea turtle. I hope that you and Ed get through today as best as possible and, hopefully, find some peace.