I know I've been pregnant a few times, given birth, changed lots of diapers, dried tears, and fixed lots of meals. I've even done thousands of loads of laundry, volunteered at school and braided hair.
But most times I don't feel like a mom. I feel like me. I feel like me at 16 when I needed my parents but thought I didn't. I feel like me at 19 when I fell in love with my husband. I feel like me at 25, a social worker wanting to help kids. I rarely feel 33, a mom with 4 kids. Sometimes I am shocked by my wrinkles and changing skin in the mirror. Denial? Maybe.
But there are moments here and there when suddenly I feel like a mom. Some are predictable like holding their hands while they get a shot or licking my fingers to wipe a mess of their face. But others are unexpected and suddenly flood me with an overwhelming sense of pride and love.
The weirdest "aha" moment was walking through the mall at Christmas time with 4 whining miserable kids.
The best has been skiing with my two biggest littlest kids.
And a favorite is when my baby nuzzles into my neck in absolute contentment.