You are my joy.
The moment they laid you on my chest, something inside of me happened. There was a spot in my heart overflowing with love that I didn’t know was there before. I found a part of me I never knew I was missing. It was you.
You became my joy.
And those first few long months of busy days and sleepless nights. There were more times that I chose joy rather than I felt it. And yet, in the fog of learning all about you and you all about me, there it was again. Middle of the night coos, sweet moments with your Daddy, your first smiles, those squirmy jerks and kicks on your playmat.
You were my joy.
Your sweet little face catches the sun, your golden hair blowing in the wind. Chubby cheeks, chubby thighs, and ankles that don’t exist. Your awkward toddle across the lawn – tummy out, shoulders back, lips pursed. Down onto your bum you fall with a plop and a grunt. You crawl back up, and off running again you go. Into my arms you walk, and into my heart you fall. I wonder how I could ever love someone so much.
You were my joy.
And in those nights I hear your cries, and answer the sacred call of midnight motherhood, I will choose to see that joy again. Your sick tiny body pressed up against mine, you give me a little smile as your eyes finally close again. Even though I’m tired, I know you’re right where I need to be.
You were still my joy.
But some days I forget – I forget that my joy is changing. You won’t be the little girl coloring at my kitchen table forever. You won’t be the tiny toddler who comes crying for Mommy when you fall and scrape your knee. You won’t always beg for cuddles or one more bedtime story or for me to sneak you one more bite of cake. You won’t always need me this much or look at the world with such innocent eyes. You won’t always be this little. So I will choose to live in the joy of your smallness today, and embrace the bigness of the joy that’s to come, knowing that joy which grows is the greatest kind there is.
And they were right. I had no idea. But I’m so glad I didn’t understand back then what I know to be true now. You are, and forever will be, my joy.