She was placed in my arms. Tiny. So tiny. Sucking her miniscule thumb. Soft hair. So much hair. Everywhere (I looked worriedly at my husband - hair on her ears? Really?). Soft skin. fast breathing. Eyes fluttering. So warm. Wrapped tightly in a swaddle. Her whole small body fit atop my chest. My breath in tune with hers. I expected the overwhelming emotion I felt in those first moments with my new daughter. I expected the explosion of love that I felt immediately. Immensely. I knew I’d cry with joy and cherish every single second those first days in the hospital.
I also expected it to be hard. Scary. Exhausting. I knew I’d be confused and worried. Feel helpless and a little alone. I thought I might break her. I was unsure if I was doing it right. Or wrong. I had been told, actually warned, that there was no manual. That there is no right way. That as moms we each just do our best. And learn as we go. As hard as so many days were in those first months, I expected them.
But along with what I expected as a mom, so much was unexpected. The joy I felt just sitting in silence LOOKING at her. Looking at her sleep. Small spasms in her arms and legs as she fell asleep. Jerky eye movements as she dreamed. Little flickers of smiles shooting across her face. Countless hours I spent just watching her. In amazement. In awe. I didn’t expect to crave the first smile, the first true interactions like I did. I didn’t expect to totally and completely lose myself in her.
And as she grew, months older, then years older, I didn’t expect to still feel such awe. Learning to speak, walk, converse, get dressed alone, read, ride a bike, put her own hair in a ponytail. It all has amazed me. I didn’t know I’d get so caught up in it. Feel fear that I’d miss something. Worry that something would pass me by and I wouldn’t see it. Relish in it. Appreciate it.
I didn’t know with this much love comes as much fear. I didn’t expect or at least realize that when you find SO MUCH JOY in the little moments you feel defeated when they’re gone. And you’re scared that you aren’t living the days as deeply as you should. I feel myself grasping at the moments. Wanting to hold on to them. Capture them and save them. I worry that I wish bad days away. Sometimes I regret that I try to erase ugly arguments from my memory. Because I know that later, down the road, when she’s not HERE, I’ll miss those days. Even the ugly ones. I didn’t expect when she was first handed to me that I’d even have such ugly days. Not me. Not her.
I didn’t expect that I actually would come to find unexpected beauty in the not so pretty moments. The hugs after the tears. Wiping away elephant tears and saying I’m Sorry. Teaching a hard lesson. And learning one too.
My daughter is now 7. I never know what to expect. So it’s all unexpected. But it’s all beautiful. And terrifying. And amazing. All I know to expect is that tomorrow will be different than today. And I’ll be there for the ride.
3 Sprouts is all about the unexpected joys in motherhood. The little moments that might be fleeting but are so meaningful. We put great thought and care into the unexpected details in each and every one of our products. To bring unexpected smiles throughout your days.What have you found to be unexpected in your days as a mom? If you have a blog, won’t you write a post about it? We’re sharing these unexpected joys on a beautiful blog called Momalom (www.momalom.com). So write your post and link up. Read what others have written. See what other moms have come to find unexpected on this crazy mommy rollercoaster. We’ll be choosing one post on 5/31 that resonates with us most and award the lucky winner $150 in 3 Sprouts products. So come play. And if you don’t have a blog, please leave us a comment here.