Sometimes I Get It All Wrong, But That's Not What She'll Remember

by Kendra Barnes
Originally Published: 

A two-year-old’s mind is a funny thing.

It never forgets the mention of a treat. It remembers that four-letter-word you said last week, and the one time six months ago that it rained on the way to Target.

And you can guarantee it will never forget the words to Baby Shark.

Sometimes it feels like she sees it all, like those big blue eyes can see straight through the façade down to the truth.

But then I put her to bed after a day of more time-outs than –ins, and she squeezes my face between those little hands, and I know:

Even on the days I feel like I’m getting it all wrong, there’s a whole lot she won’t remember.

She won’t remember the waiting. The way we hoped and dreamed about the day we would meet her. How we painted and paced and prepared.

She won’t remember the worry. When the morning sickness stopped abruptly and without warning. When the anatomy scan required a follow-up. When they said she “wasn’t happy in there anymore” after 23 hours of labor.

She won’t remember my fear. Of failing her. Of going home without the nurse. Of her first bath and her first cold. Of not being able to be the mom she deserved.

She won’t remember the mornings we stayed in bed until 10 a.m. just because we could. Those still, quiet moments when I let the housework pile up so I could listen to her breathe a little bit longer.

She won’t remember the nights I prayed. Boy, did I pray. For sleep, for peace, for strength. For patience and wisdom. For fevers to break and pain to stop. For grace. For lots of grace.

She won’t remember the times I wished away a late-night feeding or checked my phone instead of taking in all the detail of her sweet face.

She won’t remember the way I lost myself, or the months it took to painstakingly find my way back.

She won’t remember the guilt. For wanting time away. For getting time away. For ever putting myself first.

She won’t remember the times I lost my cool. The moments I had to walk away to keep it together, or the days I fantasized about the simplicity and freedom of life before.

She won’t remember the tears. Thank God she won’t remember the tears.

This gig is a lot of pressure. And most days I feel like I’m falling way short.

But then I remember that I’ve been offered grace. And that mercies are new every single morning.

I remember that God entrusted me with this child because I am the mother she needs, and that He will equip me to get through the rest.

I remember that her memory may be impressive, but that it doesn’t even compare to her capacity to forgive.

I remember that even on the worst days, her eyes light up when she sees me. Even after we’ve been at odds, she seeks comfort in my arms.

I remember that I am her safe place, her closest friend, and her biggest fan.

I remember that we share a bond that no one could ever rival. That even when we feel disconnected, I am part of her and she is part of me.

I remember that a mother’s love runs deep. And that no matter what comes, she’ll feel that love in the very depth of her soul.

I remember that I’m human and that I’m going to make mistakes. A lot of them. But that the mistakes aren’t what will define my motherhood.

Above all else, I remember that I’m doing my very best. That I love her more than anyone could ever love another human being.

And, I believe, that has to hold more weight than the times that I get it all wrong.

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