My 15-year-old daughter and I were sitting in the Chick-fil-A drive thru the other day, watching some women with their small kids in the playground area chatting about organic hand wipes or applesauce brands or something in that vein. I looked at the scene with feelings of nostalgia, remembering my early days as a mother, looking for other mom friends and taking those field trips to the fast food restaurant or the park.
My daughter looked at that scene and declared, "I really hope I don't lose myself when I become a mom."
Full disclosure, I did start laughing. Because my daughter says sh*t like that all the time. We are so different, and her perspective on the world fascinates me. For example, we were watching one of those CSI shows the other day. During the autopsy scene, I had to cover my eyes because I started gagging, while she was glued to the set, remarking "how cool" it was.
And I don't want her to change. But here is what I wanted to tell her, but didn't, because the conversation continued on to other things. The truth of motherhood is, you absolutely will lose yourself.
You will lose yourself the moment you look into your child's eyes for the very first time, staring up at you and wondering what the hell just happened. You will lose yourself in sleepless nights, stomach bugs, stitches and splinters. You will lose yourself in her laughter, her tears, her songs, and her long-winded stories. You will lose yourself as she discards the tutus and ribbons you have set out for her, and instead grabs a pair of cleats to head out the door.You will lose yourself as she navigates friendships, relationships, wins and losses, good grades and bad. You will lose yourself when she loves you, and also when she hates you.
You will lose yourself, because your heart and soul will never fully be yours again. And you are different now, because someone else's life is irrevocably entwined with yours. There is nothing you will want more than for your child to experience happiness, good health, and success her whole life. And when she gets older, and more independent, and makes more and more decisions on her own, you will lose yourself in the memories of raising your sweet, sassy, smart, silly girl.
That is probably more than my daughter wanted to be hit with in the drive thru. And it isn't what she meant when she asked the question. I know she was wondering if she would still get to pursue her own dreams and goals while being a mother. Perhaps. But I think she will find that her dreams and goals become something different once she holds that baby in her arms.
The journey and the choices are hers. I can't wait to see what happens.
Until next time, keep crowin' and get lost in the ones you love!