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“Mom? I love you, because you are my mommy. But also. I like


you – we have fun together!” So said my Grace not too long ago, seemingly out

of nowhere.

My Gracie girl wakes me in the morning with a head on my

shoulder, rubbing my cheeks and singing “Mommy, mommy, mommy. You are my mommy.

I love my mommy.”

She coordinates outfits so we can match as much as possible.

I walk out of my closet wearing pink shoes, she goes to her shoe basket and

nonchalantly announces “That’s so funny, Mom! I was going to wear pink shoes

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too!”

Alas. Miss Grace is only three and a half. These moments

won’t be here forever.

I already know it. Some day she will storm out my door and

tell me how stupid I am—how I just don’t understand what it’s like to be her.

And I won’t. I won’t know exactly what it feels like to be

her. But I will have the experience of being a woman who was once a teenager

who was once a small child. I will know what it feels like to figure out my

place in the world, what it feels like to grow and expand and try to become

whatever it is in my heart that needs to become.

My hope is that she sees me, as I hope to see her. My hope is that we are close enough that our conversations remain open, that we have a womanly understanding that respects one another’s values and deepens our relationship.

I hope.

I lie to myself and pretend we will never be the family with

teenagers squealing out of the driveway, trying to get as far away as they can.  I can hope we are doing it “right,” so as to

avoid that, but truthfully, I have no idea. None of us do. We have to let go of our expectations of who we want our children to be, of how we want our

relationship to look. There is an awful lot of time between now and then. Many

things can happen to change the course of our vision.

But, time that is already flying by. And I do know that each

day with my little one does matter.

While I give up expectation of outcome, I hold the prayer deep within my

heart that our moments together are for the highest healing good. And then I

let go.

Grace is currently asleep in my bed. It happens often. I

used to fight it. I used to try to take her back downstairs to her room ten

times a night. But when I actually thought about it, I realized I didn’t care

all that much. There will come a day, probably all too soon, when she wants

nothing to do with me. When she doesn’t ask me to tea, when she doesn’t cup my

face in her hands and exclaim “Hey Mom! It’s me! It’s Grace! I love you!” I’m

happy to snuggle with her tonight. Half the time she falls asleep easily in her

own bed, half the time she gets scared and ends up in mine.

The nights she comes into my bed, I must admit, I enjoy it. She’s so warm and sweet and soft and snuggly, and I know how quickly it all goes by. If she needs extra cuddles to sleep soundly, so be it.

I hope she will want to be my best buddy for always. But the only certainty I can have is in the right now.

So right now, I’m basking in the glow of my “Mommy? You are

the best mommy.” I’ll radiate in the pure love of that tiny hand massaging my

face. I’ll take it. It won’t be here forever.

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There's the magazine cover photo of the new celebrity mom glowing as she looks down at the beautiful, sleeping baby in her arms—and then there's real life.

In real life, postpartum mothers are just as likely to be wearing diapers as their babies are, and bumps need months to deflate.

That's why we're so grateful for the way celebrities are ditching damaging narratives about postpartum perfection and embracing the messy authenticity of new motherhood. Thanks to these modern mamas, the rest of us are seeing our own experiences reflected in pop culture, and that lets us know we're not alone.

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