Strangers often ask the same question when I'm out with my chidren: "Are these all yours?"
Although the stranger may ask it when one child is pulling on one arm and another child is pulling on the other, I smile and say an affirmative "Yes!".
I wish I had hours to write what I've learned since becoming a mother, how I've changed and become less self-centered, how I've had to learn an incredible depth of patience, and how mothering is the hardest thing I've ever done and might I immediately add, the most meaningful role I've ever had.
It seems that society views raising children as too difficult, too time consuming, too expensive, an annoyance, and gets into the way of one's real life goals and therefore, is inferior. And for goodness sake, children should be kept to a minimum! And we wonder why our society as a whole is always looking for something to satisfy and fulfill, for instant gratification--and yet, sees no correlation to giving of one's self to ultimately find real joy and fulfillment in life.
Yes, to that stranger in the parking lot that may see the struggle to get five children into the car on a blustery day, he will never see the kiss that night on the heads of five beautiful, sleepy children all tucked into bed. He will never see the absolute wonder in my daughter's eyes as she discovers a word she can read all by herself. And he most definitely will never know the truest, deepest, oldest love story of that between a mother and her child--the story of carrying, bearing, raising, giving, and ultimately, being changed.
That is a story too intimate for any mother to share.
the sleepy time gal