I used to think that my parenting depended on the baby books I read.
Whether I rocked my children to sleep or gave them vegetables with every meal would depend on an extensive amount of mommy-research.
But really? The mother I am has nothing to do with the books I have or haven’t read.
Layers of life have shaped me into the parent I am.
There is the layer that felt loved and accepted at home that claps and cheers when my children show exactly who they are.
The layer that grew up too self-conscious for my own skin, and pours on the compliments in hopes they love themselves.
The layer that has always buried myself in paper and books, that will forever capture life with a keyboard and never say no to a bedtime story request.
The layer that spent years as a single mom, who feels an extra nudge of confidence that I can do anything, but adores having someone who can take over bath time and whisk away bad dreams and give me the bigger closet.
The layer that dizzied as the word “autism” buzzed through the doctor’s office, who checks off milestones with vigilance and steadies with relief as they are met.
The layer that watched helplessly through a NICU window as my preemies cried, who flinches when tears flow for too long.
And then there is the layer that said goodbye to my daughter. The layer that, in all truth, struggles through birthdays and holidays and avoids family pictures because of the empty space. The layer I worry will leave a stain of tears on my childrens’ memories.
I can only hope my children will look back and remember this part of their mom as smiles through tears, all-you-can-handle hugs and kisses and an intense appreciation for their lives,
all wrapped in one unbreakable layer.
What “layer” of your life most influences who you are today?
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