It used to be that Mother’s Day made me sad. It made me sad for myself, and it made me long for the children I wondered if I would ever have.
But this year is so different.
My heart is incredibly full… Full of the joy that you’ve brought me over these past eight months, and full of gratitude for my Saviour who granted my heart’s desire when He gave me you.
Some of our days are very long and very hard. You are teething, and your nose and eyes are itchy, and we rarely get out of the house since winter is on the way. Yes, the days can be long. But the moments, weeks and months are so short. I’m holding on tightly to each and every one of them.
You are crawling, and even beginning to lift yourself up, so you don’t need me as much as you did just two or three months ago. You are sleeping through the night, so you don’t need me at all at night. You are learning to eat finger foods all on your own, so soon you won’t need me as much to feed you. You are still breastfed at least, but I don’t know how I am going to feel when you decide not to nurse anymore and don’t even get me started on cuddling; you can barely sit still long enough for a diaper change!
I love the way you can say “mama” now, and the way you reach for me when I walk into the room, or crawl towards me when you miss me. I am so proud of the way you are growing and learning. You are a different baby than you were eight months ago, when we brought you home from the hospital as a calm, helpless, wrinkly newborn.
In years past, Mother’s Day had been about me: my infertility, my emptiness, my brokenness, my loneliness, my failure, my heartache.
But this year, I’ve realised that Mother’s Day is not about me at all. Instead, it is a day to celebrate you and me, together. And mostly, it is a day to celebrate our glorious Saviour, because were it not for His grace in my life, you would not be sitting on the floor at my feet right now, chewing on a teething biscuit that I love baking for you. You are my constant, beautiful, crazy reminder that we serve a God who is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine – because you are so much more than I ever could have hoped for, and more wonderful than I ever could have imagined.
Every negative home pregnancy test, every needle, every blood draw, and every invasive ultrasound, all the money spent; they were all beyond worth it for the joy of having you in my life. You are my own personal ray of sunshine. You are the light in my life, and apart from salvation, and apart from your dad, you are the best gift I’ve ever been given. I love you more than my words can ever fully express.
If I teach you one thing in the coming years, let it be this: As much as I love you, we serve a Saviour who loves you even more. My love pales in comparison to His. It is my deepest prayer that you will come to know Him as your own saviour at a young age, and that you will live the rest of your life according to His love for you, and yours for Him.
Being your mother has already been the greatest honour of my life. And even though you’ve been on this earth for only eight short months, you’ve been in my heart for so much longer and I’ll hold you close there forever.
And no matter if your Dad and I have several more children or none, you will always be very special because you are the daughter who made my dream of motherhood come true. And you are more than I ever could have dreamed.
I love you so much Hope Desmonè Zethu Sibiya.