If You Ever….

If you ever birthed, adopted or fostered a child.

If you ever held a baby for endless hours because you wanted the child to sleep, whether you did nor not.

If you ever held a vomiting child.   Or had a child projectile vomit in your face.   Or held a baby high, laughing at their beauty, and they spit up in your laughing face-and you kept laughing while gagging.

If you ever read story after story after story after story after story after story after story.  Then read another one.

If you ever laughed at 1,279 ‘knock knock’ jokes that ended with “it’s me mom!”

If you ever went out scouting the neighborhood, or the school, or the football game to get a glimpse of the boy/girl that broke your child’s heart.  Or called them a name.  Or pulled their hair.  Or gave them a dirty look.  Or did something so incredibly kind for your child….and you just wanted to see what that part of your child’s life looks like.

If you ever told your child how to deal with bullies in the most positive and encouraging way and then went to your room and cried your heart out because you didn’t understand how anyone could be mean to your child.

If you ever floated on air because someone went out of their way to tell you your child was well mannered/kind/considerate/or just funny and sweet.

If you ever felt so proud of your child because they stuck up for someone else and did what was right even when it was hard to do because it made them unpopular.

If you ever had physical pains from making sure you did not roll your eyes at your child’s 57 minute version of a 30 second story.

If you ever did or said something wrong and apologized to your child and told them that they were right.  And asked for their forgiveness.

If you ever heard “I hate you” from your child and though your heart broke you love them so much you smile and say that’s okay I love you enough for the both of us.   And waited until they realized they don’t hate you.  Because you know they don’t.

If you ever hid in the bathroom for 20 seconds of peace because that’s all you could get before they found you.

If you ever went without so your child could have.

If you ever taught your child that doing without is not always a bad thing.

If you ever relearned math/science/sentence structure/grammar/Spanish/Latin/geography/etc so you could help with homework.

If you ever acknowledged “I’m sorry I don’t know, but I’ll find out/we’ll find out together”.

If you ever dropped to your knees and begged/pleaded/offered your soul for the well being of your child.

If you ever supported your child’s decision that took him/her away and broke your heart.

If you ever made 6935 dinners in a row (give or take).   Multiply that by three if you also did the breakfasts and lunches.

If you ever stepped in to the role of mom as a male.

If you ever stayed awake for 24/32/40/48 hours straight because of anything your child needed.

If you ever made a costume/baked cookies/typed a report for your child who let you know they needed help five minutes before bedtime the night before it was needed.

If you ever let down/disappointed/hurt your child and spent the rest of your life trying to repair what you only got one real shot at doing right.  Regretting mistakes and yearning for do-overs.

If you ever rocked your child for hours/days/months/years and now sit rocking alone, decades later,  on your porch waiting to see if they visit.

If you ever catch yourself singing a song you sang twenty/thirty/fifty/seventy years ago to your once so small babe in arms.

If you ever burst out laughing when you hear yourself coming out of your child’s mouth and see pure terror on their face.

If you ever stood back and watched your child walk/drive away knowing it will be months, maybe years, before you see them again.  Standing brave and waving them on while your heart is shattering in to a million pieces.  While being so proud of their courage.

If you ever stood back while your child reached a goal/graduated/received an award/succeeded and gave all credit to your child without patting yourself on the back.  Recognizing the effort of your child.  And ignoring if not forgetting your own efforts on their behalf.

If you ever loved as a mom.

Happy Mother’s Day…..every day.

176 thoughts on “If You Ever….

  1. Awww how much this means to me and every mother on our planet. I have been through the majority with my girls..and still continue on some levels. That is mothering, the protecting, the nurturing, the guilt trips, the love,the frustrations..each and every minuscule moment and none of them we would give up, in return for not having them. Happy Mothers Day to you sweetheart and thank you writing this. ❤ x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awwww. ❤ Happy Mothers Day to you too mom!! To the best mother I know, and to the mother who I know has endured physical pains from not rolling your eyes when it takes me 57 minutes to tell a 30 second story. 🙂 (even though most of the time it wouldn't take so long if you and my dear sister would not interrupt me!!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • But if it didn’t go on for 57 minutes we wouldn’t have to interrupt! 🙂 And as soon as DB read it he said “Nessie!” I had to laugh because you assume I am talking about you too. 😉 I love you.

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  3. Hiding in the bathroom – not even safe there!
    For my part, I used to sit and read a book with my finger in my premature baby sister’s mouth. It calmed her to suck, and a finger was just the right size and helped her learn to breastfeed.
    My finger is still shrivelled I’m sure…

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  4. Colleen, Thank you, you just wrote the Mothers Day card for my wife and daughter. When I give them a copy I will give you complete and total credit. This is one of the sweetest posts I have ever read, and as a father I can appreciate each and every word other, but I am smart enough to understand t he prespective. You are so sweetly creative, thank you so much. Take care, Bill

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This held so many different experiences that I lived through, mainly as a single mother, that I was teary eyed by the time I got done! I appreciate all the kind words and the cheering us all on. Thank you, Colleen!
    This day represents a sisterhood of friends who have witnessed our tough times. There are also so many more… they will have their day! Fathers, brothers, uncles and guy friends all who do their part in raising the children and supporting each other along the way. It ‘ain’t’ easy! It truly ‘takes a village!’ Smiles and Happy Mother’s Day!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Robin, there were actual tears on a statement or two as I wrote it. My own writing doesn’t always have that kind of impact on me. But it was largely drawn from personal or shared with me experiences. So it was very familiar. It does take a village. Some day when I create that illusive fortune I am building my own village, it is called “Ittakesa” for this very reason. 🙂

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  6. Just so beautiful written, Colleen – your beautiful heart and soul has spoken again.
    I’m only thinking about those that would do anything for .. get the experience to hold their own child and experience all this, but not that blessed… how do they feel on Mothers Day.
    Same with them that don’t have any parents …
    I’m not in favor of it, but you know me … same with Father’s Day and Valentine.
    I wish you and everyone else a fantastic EVERY DAY!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! 🙂 Father’s and uncles and brothers, etc….indeed. ( I did give them a little shout out in here but will make sure to not miss them come Father’s Day 😉 ) Thank you for the happy wish!

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  7. This is beautiful and every word has so much truth to it! My nieces and nephews are like my surrogate children (our family leans towards the whole ‘it takes a village’ way of raising kids) so I have had many of these moments 🙂 wouldn’t trade any of them. Unfortunately I do not have my own, waiting… praying… but I guess offering my soul up is the next logical step 🙂
    Great post!

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    • DitchTheBun… thank you for the wonderful comment. I have been around babies since the first baby after me was born (there were three before me and four after). I don’t think I’ve ever lived any part of my life without someone’s children being around. Usually all related. I love the “it takes a village”. I used to say rather freely “I’ll say a prayer for you”. Any more, when I type that, I stop what I’m doing and say my little prayer right then. So I added my little prayer just now to your waiting and praying. I don’t want you to have to offer up your soul. 🙂 We need souls like you. 🙂

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      • It sounds like you have a lovely big and warm family, how wonderful to grow up in such a full household.
        Thank you for your prayers, that is so kind! I will keep praying too, in the meantime spending time with and teaching my nephews and nieces is a pretty awesome substitute I must say 🙂

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        • What a great substitute, and good practice!

          I did come from a large family, who came from large families… And it sure was a blessing. Not always warm. 😉 But boisterous and loving yes. 🙂

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  8. WOW..I wanted to pen a piece so, so bad about the joys of being a mother when Mothers’ Day was approaching this year..I’ve so SO many beautiful memories of my/our sons..They’re all grown UP now & mayhaps because I’d just seem them all at our eldest last graduation (Doctorate) ; missing them so much I just couldn’t bring myself to put the pen to paper..For fear if the tears began I’d not stop. Though we know they must lead their own lives & we’re SO proud of their achievements; it is still hard to part. Thankfully I was blessed to be able to spend Mothers Day with my own Mama..Who feels exactly the same way about me even though I’m now 50..It IS a feeling /feelings that last for life..Thanks for expressing such a beautiful sentiment..And ditto! 2 thumbs UP

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  9. This was beautiful! I am only on my 2nd Mother’s Day as a mother and I can relate to so many of these things either as a parent or as a daughter. Thank you so much for putting these little moments of motherhood (parenthood, really) down in print!

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    • You’re welcome Michelle. And thank YOU. Tie down those parent hat strings. There is so much coming your way it will blow you away. In a very good, powerful, heart wrenching way. But you already know that. 🙂

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    • I hope they would good tears, memory tears. There is one line in here, I will admit, that brings me to tears every time I read it. Normally my writing only brings me to tears for completely other reasons. But that one line, I cried when I wrote it. And still when I read it. Thank you Elisa.

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  10. One of the best things about my wife and we have been married since 1970 is the love she has for her children and now grandchildren. There is a bond that I cannot explain. I went to work but she did the hard work. That work is unconditional love. I had it easy I just did a job. Her job was twenty four hours a day, eight days a week, thirteen months a year. Kudos to her.

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  11. Reblogged this on Just-G and commented:
    This was stated so succinctly and from the Heart…..THANK YOU!!!! I have two sons and one is multi-handicapped, which I will be writing about in. My memoirs, but this is so much a part of the GOOD and the BAD and the EXTREMELY Funny. Thank you.

    just-G

    .gailsiemko.com

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    • Thank you Little Miss Wordy!!!!! 🙂 What a wonderful compliment! It was all either very personal, or shared with me by others over the years. I’ve noticed that the more personal, the more people connect. Thank you again and again. 🙂

      Like

  12. Reblogged this on Write What Now? and commented:
    You stirred my heart. I’m literally blushing. You got me saying, “that’s so me!” at the end of almost every paragraph. My kids aren’t old enough to leave me heart-broken or rocking on a chair waiting for them, but when that time comes I’ll have your blog post in my journal to remind me that I’m not alone. God bless you.

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  13. You stirred my heart. I’m literally blushing. You got me saying, “that’s so me!” at the end of almost every paragraph. My kids aren’t old enough to leave me heart-broken or rocking on a chair waiting for them, but when that time comes I’ll have your blog post in my journal to remind me that I’m not alone. God bless you.

    Like

    • Thank you Hastagdiy. I’m glad it resonated so well with you. I’m honored you would keep it in your journal. And fortunately not all kids leave their parents broken hearted. (I just happen to see some because of my job). Thank you for the blessings, and I return them with a smile. 🙂

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  14. Oh my, Colleen. YOU SO DESERVED THAT FRESH PRESS! At points, tears sprang to my eyes because I recognized my mother in your words. I love you, Colleen, for finding the right words and creating your own “If” – Rudyard Kipling b’ware. My heart and my breath have expanded. You’ve shifted my center mass here. Thank you, Colleen.

    Like

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