Mother Love

I know the moment
you met your child
for the first time,
you felt complete
in a way you hadn’t known
you were empty.


And I know,
when you click the car seat buckle for the first time
and drive away,
you can’t believe
this child is now yours
to care for.
How can it be
that you can just drive away
with an entire new person?
Surely there must be some mistake.


Your house is my house.
Our sippy cups in the sink
and the Cheerios in our toes
are the same.
Your doubt is my doubt.
Both of us up
long past our bedtimes
wondering in the dark
if we have done enough,
loved enough
that day. Preparing
to do it all again tomorrow.


I know what you mean
when you talk about milk and diapers
Dr. Seuss and Bread and Jam for Frances
Finding Size 8 underwear in the bookcase
Fevers and vomit
Bicycles and Legos
Nightmares and searching for your place in a group of friends.


I know what you mean.
Recipes for Mommy Soup
songs sung off key
tears and sweat
yogurt and apples
so many Goldfish.


I know what you mean.
Love past reason,
past words,
way past time
and all of the stars.


I know.
This light.
This dark.
This wholeness.
This brokenness.
This you.
This life.
It takes everything.
We are undone
and made whole by it.


And I know
There are words you want them to know–
How your world rests
on the curl of their eyelashes.
How your heart sits
at the place where their ankles meet their socks.
Your life in their smell.
You want them to know each of these things.
But where to begin?
So you pack their lunch
adding a few extra slices of cheese.
Calcium is good for you.