I’ve always wanted to write about motherhood. Ever since The Boy was born more than 5 years ago, I have been trying to figure out how to put into words the change of state that has occurred. Trying to turn the perfect phrase that encompasses the journey of motherhood and how it has changed my entire world view. But I haven’t been able to do it. I either wind up with pages of personal experience that I’m unconvinced anyone else would want to read, or I wind up with a more academic appraisal of motherhood as a whole. Which I feel wholly unqualified to write, because, let’s face it, I’ve only been doing this a very short time.

But as I was thinking about all of this yesterday it dawned on me that I may never be able to really write about motherhood, because it’s an organic, ever-changing sort of thing that I will never be done with. I doubt I’ll be a master mother because every day brings some new thing to learn and digest. And while with motherhood, hindsight is most definitely 20/20, that can only bring you so far.

While I am tempted to hold onto The Girl as my baby, she is so far from that baby I brought home that there are days when I struggle to recognize her. If I feel this way when she is not yet 3 years old, I cannot imagine the shock that will happen when she is 12 or 17 or 25.

I think for a while, I thought that maybe as your children grew you sort of desensitized to motherhood in a way. Sort of stopped keeping track of the huge and small changes and everything in between. But I’ve found that actually my sensitivity to my children has sharpened. As they continue to grow into their own lives, and I into mine, that awareness has become acute.

As I watch their orbits expand into the world, I want to memorize the tracks they make so that I can recall them at will. I want to keep their colors vivid and their paths determined. I want them to leave a trail of breadcrumbs.

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