In the years that have passed since we first welcomed our two wonderful boys into our life, I've noticed quite keenly how much fuller everything seems. The four chairs at our kitchen table are now all happily (and noisily!) occupied, and in the earlier years, each one of my hands was filled with the warmth of a trusting smaller one to hold. Our shelves are overflowing with beautiful children's books and our minds are filled with the memories, ideas and dreams their stories have nurtured in us as we've shared them together. Our evenings and weekends are filled with kids' activities, and with many moments where we've felt so very proud of what the boys have accomplished. Each day in our home is suffused with the sounds of laughter (and sometimes tears), with countless questions and their possible answers, as we all make our way in this rich and complex world, the four of us, together.
Having the boys has meant that our family room is often full of wild Lego contraptions and zany inventions made out of cardboard and string. It's resulted in our washing machine being saturated with eleventy billion shreds of soggy Kleenex that somebody left in his jeans' pocket, and our backyard trees being full of lost sports equipment. It's given us mirrors splattered with toothpaste and inundated with smiley faces and smudgey secret messages written with fingers in steam. It's led us to have a couple of closets so full of random things that young boys like to collect that I'm afraid to open them for fear of being taken out by an avalanche.
There is a football in my maple tree. It's been there for three full days.
I've been kept fully awake some nights as a mom, anxiously thinking over things that only moms can worry about. Parenthood has filled my mind with moments of self-doubt, and my days with lots of opportunities to make mistakes and to feel sometimes like I'm doing a terrible job. Other times, seeing the two incredible boys I've helped to grow has filled me with an absolute certainty that I'm doing something right. In so many ways, being a mom has been the full-time job that I've found both the most challenging and the most profoundly rewarding.
I thought I had a pretty good sense of what I was in for when I decided to become a mom. I know now that I really had no idea at all. The boys have filled my life with a new found meaning and purpose, with wonder and excitement, with beautiful opportunities to see the world once again through the curious and imaginative eyes of children. Best of all, they've allowed me to know what it feels like to have a heart filled to overflowing with joy and love.