Basically, growing up, I was not the obviously girly and maternal type. Despite having many younger siblings, cousins and friends that I was left to supervise or babysit, mothering didn't seem to come easily or naturally to me. As a result, it was a well known joke in our extended family that I would likely send my kids - assuming I would be having any - to boarding school. Even though I knew it was that - a joke - there were many years it bothered me, and for a good couple years I figured I therefore probably wouldn't have any children.
Look at me now.
Granted, compared to the rest of the family, I began a bit late, giving birth to Zac just before I turned 29, I certainly haven't wasted any time since then, popping out two more in the subsequent five years. And perhaps in a parallel world, there would be room for one more. I think it's safe to say: this once disinclined-mother has become determined-mother #1.
I don't know if it's just having had three kids now, if it was the context around Bayley's conception, development and birth, but it's (only) now that I realise how much of being a mom is not just what I do, but who I am. And I wouldn't change it for the world. I was saying just the other day: if it were not for the fact that I need to work, I would gladly build a life around caring for and spending time with my kids.
My dear Peanut, Cooks and Bug,
You will never know just how much I love you; how your mere existence has changed my life in ways I will never really understand or have any desire to ever undo. You are all beautifully imperfect and immeasurably precious, and you each have individual qualities purposed exactly for my teaching and development and refining. I am blown away by your unique designs, and how even though you are so different to each other, you are all the ideal fit for me. How amazing it is that when God created each one of you, He was thinking about me...
We won't always be as in sync and in love as we (mostly) feel right now. You will grow up, I will get old; and believe it or not, you will not fight each other for space next to me in the bed forever! We will disagree and clash heads many times along this path. But this you can hold onto, regardless of whatever storm we are weathering against or alongside each other:
being entrusted with the immense privilege of raising you three is the greatest gift and blessing,
and for all time you will have my whole heart!