The Little Things

I have a small, seemingly insignificant moment etched in my memory, which is the moment I truly realised I was a mother, forever. I do also, of course, remember the moment my babies were placed in my arms, and first words, and steps. But those moments were about them, not me.
The small insignificant moment was when my first son was about 16 months old. We were at a stay and play session, which we had attended for a while. My son was making his first forays into playing with other children, and was contentedly playing alongside them. Another child came up to him. My son smiled. The child shoved him backwards. There was not a lot of malice in it, the other child seemed to be investigating just what would happen if he shoved my son. What happened is he fell backwards, and cried. And my heart broke. I poured emotions into the moment, into my son, that just weren't there. He had attempted to play, he had trusted, he had had his trust stamped on, he had woken up to the big bad world - other people may hurt you, emotionally and physically. I don't think he actually felt any of those things. I think he hurt for a few seconds, realised some children were different to others, and possibly best avoided, and moved on. But I wanted to crawl into his heart, to tell him it was ok, that he was loved, that I was sorry I wasn't hovering around him at that precise second, that I didn't catch him before he fell, that I didn't foresee that the other child would push him and head him off. That just because he was pushed, he was still special, and amazing, and I loved him.
I have, over time, thankfully, become far less emotional about things like this.. My son has been the pushee himself once or twice, though thankfully just that once or twice. It is an inevitable part of childhood. I have taught him, at two and a half, that these things happen, but apologies are important, as are recognising our feelings.
But what I realised, at that moment, was that I was a mother, and all that that entailed. Part of my heart was walking around inside my son, and now my two little boys. I will laugh with them, cry with them, hope with them, cheer with them. I will feel everything they feel, but tenfold, because I will exaggerate it, because it is important to them, and therefore utterly important to me. I will watch them try, and sit on my hands because sometimes they will need to fail to learn. I will watch them manage conflict, but close my eyes to stop myself from rushing in and fixing it for them. I will burst with pride when they are simply happy to have achieved something small. I will worry, endlessly, while they trustingly barrel through their early years. I am on an emotional roller coaster, and am full of awe, admiration, and most of all love. To love our children is to have our inner selves exposed, and to experience all the sadness and overwhelming joy that that brings.
I think the fact that I had my Mummy Epiphany in a draughty school hall drinking weak squash highlights everything about motherhood that I am trying to portray - it is the little things, the small insignificant things that happen every day that make us mothers, that our children remember about their childhood, that make our memories.
I can't wait for tomorrow, to make more.