There are people who love to skydive and bungee jump off of high bridges over rushing rivers. I use to think they were the bravest.
There are people who travel from one countries rain forests to trekking the winding mountainous roads of the next. I use to think they were the most adventurous.
There are people who sit behind heavy wooden desks in corner offices and attend gala events and give inspiring speeches. I use to think they were the most important.
I’ve changed my mind though.
As I watch women around me, women who endure difficult pregnancies or spend months with their little one in the nicu not knowing what the outcome will be. I now think these are the bravest.
As I’ve witnessed my tribe handle specialists and therapists and new diagnosis in their littles, as I’ve seen them advocate for their child who doesn’t have speech or stand up for their child against bullying or make endless decisions for the benefit of this person they have such an enormous responsibility for. I now think these are the most important.
As I’ve seen the smiles and joy oozing out of those who are cradling their new bundle, or dying with laughter at their toddlers first attempt at a joke or beaming with pride as they let go of the back of the seat of their child’s bike and watch them ride that first stretch of sidewalk on their own. I now think these have the most fun.
As for the most adventurous?
Well, if you’ve ever started your day with singing as you cook your munchkins breakfast, only to find yourself crying and afraid after a fall that has you dodging traffic as you rush your child to the ER, you know adventure.
If you’ve sent your teen out with their friends while you’re happily sipping your coffee at home and then get the call that they’ve crashed the car, you know adventure.
If you’ve laughed as you rolled down green grassy hills together, or high five’d after the first successful shoelaces have been tied or watched as they conquered their fear of public speaking or didn’t fall down that time after skiing off the chairlift, you know adventure.
If you’ve gazed at the child that has your same eyes after you’ve tucked them into bed, if you’ve looked at them bewildered about the words that came out of their mouth and wondered how on earth they came up with that, if you’ve listened outside their bedroom where their playing with a friend and heard them be kind or generous or patient, you know that there’s no place you’d rather be.
Culture can tell us that having kids changes everything. That we need to brace ourselves because our lives will never be the same and I say that’s true.
Mama’s, we know our lives will never be the same, right?
We know that they will no longer be boring or quiet or predictable. We know that gone are the days of wondering what we’re going to do with our Saturday and trying to come up with plans in order to have fun.
Because mothering is the adventure of a lifetime. It will bring the biggest laughs alongside the biggest tears. It will bring pleading prayers along with the most joyous celebrations. It will bring worry cozied up beside tremendous pride.
It humbles us. It challenges us. It pushes us beyond any limit we think we could handle. It exhilarates us. It grows us. It inspires us to be better versions of ourselves than we ever thought of being before.
To all of you mama’s out there – you are brave, you are important and you get to live the most adventurous life I think there is.
I hope you are celebrated today but even if you’re not, know that the life that you’re living in raising those humans is celebration enough. You GET TO DO THIS! What better gift could there be.