Motherhood is a string of hope. I clip up my whispered longings as I breeze along the day with my tiny people in tow. Sometimes when the wind is too strong and those tiny people pull too hard, I yell. My expectations regularly misalign with reality. The hope of unspilled coffee for breakfast – dashed. I have to take a slow, deep breath, apologize and hope to be a kinder Mommy for the rest of the day.
This hope I whisper is ever changing, almost as much as my toddler’s emotional displays. In the morning it is warm: “I hope we have a fun day today.” At breakfast it is optimistic: “I hope we learn something new today … and laugh and love each other well … and make it to the doctor on time.” By afternoon it is tentative: “I hope he takes a long nap,” and by evening it is often desperate: “I hope my husband doesn’t have to work late again tonight.” Then at night, lying in the quiet dark with thoughts streaming, it is often daunting and sometimes terrifying: “I hope we are parenting well. I hope they grow up to be good men.”
Sometimes in the most difficult moments, my string detaches, landing on the ground. My string often plunges at the end of a long day when both of my boys are wailing to be held. They are tired, wet and hungry. So close in age and still so small, each wants both of my arms all to himself and is unable to fall asleep while the other still cries. I am doing bedtime alone again because my husband works late every night. I am so tired, I want to cry too. These are the moments I want to scream. Hopeless.
But hope always comes back, no matter how tiny. My hope string starts to rise again when my two-year-old spontaneously stops crying, opens a book and lovingly shoves it in his brother’s face. “Here baby.” In that clumsy gesture, I see the hope of the great friendship they will share in years to come. I breathe that hope in and clip it to my string. I smile through tears and we all calm down a bit. I start to sing and the older one sings a few words along with me. The baby sighs and snuggles closer. Here is more hope. In this sweet moment, I can look up at my string and see how much our day mattered. In all of its sticky mess, two boys were loved. Each grew through words, hugs, friends, snacks and play toward the good men they will someday be.
Jordan Canafax is a stay-at-home momma who loves to run around outside barefoot and get dirty with her two boys. She and her ruggedly handsome hubby love daydreaming together about moving to the mountains.
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of The MOPS Magazine. If you didn’t get a copy and would like your own, you can subscribe to get The MOPS Magazine in your mailbox every season. If you subscribe, forward your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll shoot a copy of the current issue in the mail to you for free … just because we like you.