I am still stunned by the fact that it is only after the birth of my third daughter that I finally truly feel being a mom.
Surely, when my first daughter was born and finally able to say her first words including a surprising Mama, when she was 11 months old, I felt the special attachment that we both still feel for each other. Commonly the type of bond that develops between a caring mom and her ever growing daughter. I will never forget that still a newborn, I could not wait to hear her sweet voice, helping me to feel warmer blood running in my veins as well as some occasional goosebumps, having always wondered what her voice would sound like. Many of my friends who did not wait the ten years my husband and I waited to have children as we were busy completing our graduate studies, warned me about the reality that there will be a time when I would be fed up to be called Mom. Of course, I did not understand their stories until this reality bit me once this same first daughter turned 7 and her sister 61/2. You know how it is, the never ending shouts: 'Mom, she pushed me', 'Mom, she doesn't want to share', 'Mom, I am hungry', 'Mom, can I watch TV'...Well, you get the picture.
Now, few months before the birth of my second daughter, I was already on maternity leave, left Canada (my parents, mostly the devoted grandmother of my children) for a few years. We left to live in the US thanks to my husband's job relocation. When my second daughter was born, my first was 18 months. Quite a busy lady was she! Active and needing attention, typical of toddlers her age. Unsurprisingly, driven by my adrenaline and hormones, I was happy to care for my second daughter, breastfeed her and cuddle with her. Pretty much just like I did with the first. Still, the same thoughts came to mind: her voice, what will it sound like? How about her eyes, which color will they end up be? Will she enjoy the water and embrace the idea to swim in the pool? It will be a long list if I would go over the precious memories I have of this beloved second daughter. As a snap shot, there is that sweet time when sitting on her high chair, she would munch on her favorite cookie or favorite pizza (yes, I have to admit, we are not always eating healthy) and watch her doze off while chewing her food as toothless as she was. Or how about the time, all the joy and laughter she offered me during bath time. Patiently, she would wait sitting-up in her stroller as I was dressing up her older sister. Her quietness always marked me, and filled me with great joy. Giving me the energy to go on. Cute in her boots and raincoat, just learned to walk, she would go wherever (or almost) her sister was heading to. There are a great number of cherishing memories. Oh, where did all that time go?
My third daughter was born this past July. There is about 81/2 years age difference between the first and this last one. Despite all the unique moments that I had with my first, as well as my second daughter, it is only following the birth of the last one that I feel being a mom. It is not like I did not spend time with my daughter, because I did. You know how it is, we balance our life as a working woman and a wife and a mom and a housewife. Like many, always trying our best and keeping up in joggling it all as well other duties as a swim coach for the school I teach at and a mom taking her own daughters to their synchronized swimming classes twice a week, not to mention the late meetings and interviews at school and the occasional hosting for late night family parties at home. Most likely, none of that is new to you. In the end always pulling it together occasionally wondering how is it that we did it. But now, since my third daughter came to the world, as I mentioned: Mom at last! Both my husband and I know THAT IS IT, we will not have any more children. No more feeling the kicks of a baby to be born inside, good bye to the joy (or early pains) of breastfeeding. No more questions about what the voice of the next one will sound like, or whether she will be left or right handed. As I focus a lot of my energy and time on my third, particularly since her two older sisters are at school during the day, I watch my third daughter grow. At seven months, she has already started to say some gibberish as 'Mumm'. Day after day, I am trying my best to capture these unforgettable moments especially knowing that these times will not come back again after her. That will be it, as she will continue to grow, I will only have these memories to remind me of all these special moments, including the bad nights sleeps and the continuous rocking to sooth her while trying to fall back to sleep.
I now wonder, when will it be a that I could feel being a grandmother?