I am not a perfect mother.
I yell at my kids more than I'd like. I'm a terrible housekeeper. I feed them McDonalds. I make the wrong call about whether or not to bring them to the doctor, keeping them home, when in fact they broke a bone, bringing them in when there's nothing at all wrong with them.
Some days I worry that my kids will only remember my shortcomings. When they are older, are they going to look back and remember a cranky mom who told them no all the time and yelled at them to pick up their toys?
Will they remember the times they puked on me and I just rubbed their backs and told them everything is okay?
Will they remember being scared and Mommy hugging them close and saying, Mommy's here, Mommy's here?
Will they remember the times we danced in the rain? Or the snowmen we've built that have slowly died each spring only to be resurrected again next winter?
Will they remember the books? So many books.
The ones I thought were stupid but I read and reread to them anyway, because it was their favorite. The ones where I gave each character their own silly voice?
Will they remember the spontaneous dance parties held in our kitchen? Will they remember me holding them in my arms, singing, Doo do do do, then dipping them back so they were hanging all the way upside down, giggling furiously with fear and excitement?
My oldest child is almost 8. I can barely lift him off the ground. If we're all in the kitchen, though, and a good dancing song comes on, he still pleads, “Dip me, Mom! Dip me!”
As long as I can, I will. As long as he promises to remember.