Sean held my hand, sealing our napping son within our arms. In 20 days, our boy will have lived a year. Becoming his mother has delivered me into an iteration of myself I’ve been thrilled to discover. It’s been the best year of my life.
A week ago Sean and I were getting our tiny house ready for another boy, one in foster care whom we’d looked after a few times a couple of years ago. We went and picked him up outside of the child welfare agency through which we’re licensed, visiting briefly with his sisters, who once lived with us for a nine-month stretch of time. My heart opened to see those girls 17 months after they moved out of our home. The brief encounter wasn’t painted with as much pain as I’ve felt previously when I’ve allowed myself to revisit their loss. The story felt more settled than it ever had. I found more peace with it.
Upon bringing their brother home with us for two days, I was surprised to again feel the cumulative joy of motherhood squeeze me in its loving arms. Sean and I, our foster son and our biological son played together on the floor while the dog weaved between and around us. We fed our foster boy what he liked for breakfast, lunch and dinner: cheerios, chicken nuggets, more cheerios. The night before he left, Sean took the dog on a walk with our son in the stroller. Our foster boy and I stayed home. For his dinner, I boiled a pot of water for noodles and another for a hot dog. The noodles cooked and drained, I stirred in a few clumps of butter.
Transported back to the time in my life when under my roof lived walking, talking, school-aged children pleased by nothing more than buttered noodles and boiled hot dogs, I remembered how very much I love being the mom who serves them those small joys. Having my own tot whom I’ve had the privilege of watching grow from birth expands upon it. It’s a thrill to know that my love for my kids only grows with each child, whether born of my body or brought into my home for a couple of nights after a couple of years’ absence. I feel very lucky to experience it.