The Mommy Vortex: Top Ten Things I’m Grateful For As a Mom
In the wake of the unspeakable, unfathomable tragedy that befell such innocents in Connecticut, I could not help but cry and grieve with the rest of Newtown, CT – with the rest of the country and the rest of the world. Any person with a shred of humanity continues to be deeply affected by this horrific event. I still find myself overcome with sadness and tears, at such random moments.
I know us moms (and dads) hugged our kids a little tighter in the days that followed. Many of us prayed, some of us tried to work out the fear and anger, and others sent messages of support and love directly to the victims, both living and deceased. As we cling to each other for comfort and strength, I continue to be incredibly moved by the depth and tenacity each mother’s love for her children.
Despite the hardships and the constant sacrifices, above all, we live for our children.
Mindful of the events that just transpired, and as we look toward a (hopefully) more peaceful 2013, let us channel our collective gratitude as moms, and send our positive energy to those mothers in Connecticut – overwhelmed with grief – whose empty arms will never quite be the same. Let us all remember how grateful we are to be mothers, as a tribute to those moms who lost a piece of their soul that tragic day.
So in that spirit, as we move forward as a community and a nation, I’m sharing the Top 10 things that I’m grateful for as a mom:
10. The smell of our babies when they just come out of the bath, all downy and soft, wrapped in warm clothes and swaddled in blankets. They are safe in our arms for such a short time.
9. The ever-deepening relationship with my own mother and my mommy-friends, who show me everyday what love in action really means
8. Never-ending carpools, pick-ups, and drop-offs, because they give me time to talk with my children, as well as blast the radio and sing with my kids at the top of our lungs to songs on the radio.
7. Sticky tables, crumb-filled car seats, finger-print covered refrigerator doors, toys scattered all over the floor, crayon-rainbows on the walls, and peals of laughter. One day, my kids will be too tall to leave those precious fingerprints. The chaos and their mess are a reminder that there is love and life coursing through the walls of our home.
6. Trips to the doctor for fevers, coughs, vaccinations, and sore throats. These give me opportunities to comfort and help heal my child, and remind me that my children look to me as their primary source of comfort and care. It won’t be long before a cartoon-covered band-aid and a kiss from mommy won’t make it all better anymore.
5. School plays, music and dance recitals, sports tournaments, and cheer competitions, because these events are vital to our children’s growth and successes. And they teach us moms how to be humble, how to support our kids and their friends and competitors, and how to demonstrate what it means to be a productive and kind team-player.
4. Bed time stories. It will not be long before my child is living on her own in a college dorm room, far away from the security of her warm bed and my watchful eye. Each night, I am grateful for those few minutes that we can escape together to a faraway land, while our hands and feet are still touching.
3. School artwork, the scribbled-on sticky notes, and crayon-covered construction paper that seem to overtake my counters and kitchen table on any given day, occasionally spreading to my nightstand and computer desk. These are love notes, and even if I can’t save every single shred of paper, I am grateful to have experienced the joy of seeing my child’s creativity and expressions of love come to life so brilliantly, with the passion only a child can bring to a piece of scrap paper.
2. The strength to say good-bye to our children when they leave for school for the first time, when they go on their first overnight camping trip without us, when they head off to college, when they get married or move away. Mothers have an incredible depth of strength that is manifested so beautifully when their children must begin to fly on their own. I do not want to say good-bye; but I know I have the strength as a mother to do so when the time comes. I am grateful for that.
1. Pure, unconditional mommy-love. I am blessed everyday to be able to give my children the special love only a mother can bestow upon her children. I am sometimes overwhelmed with gratitude when I consider how much my heart and soul opened up –awakened – when my children were born. I am so thankful for the opportunity to envelop my children in a mother’s love. There is nothing like it.
As we leave 2012 behind, my New Year’s resolution is to actively remember to be grateful for all the big and little things in our lives. As we have so recently experienced, our time together can be desperately short. So as we look toward 2013, I wish you all peace, and the joy that only motherhood can bring.
Rosemarie Coppola-Baldwin is a practicing attorney and a dedicated mother of two children. A Georgetown University graduate, Rosemarie has practiced law at a major New York City law firm and for the City of New York. Rosemarie has been a guest lecturer on women’s civil rights and related legal issues at St. John’s University (New York), and offers pro bono legal services to a variety of entities.