Motherhood is a journey. One that begins, I am convinced, well before the pink line on the pregnancy test.
There's timing to be considered. Career. Finances. The desire to mother grows slowly. It can take time for the stars to align, but then the congratulations roll in. Joy on your own terms.
That's the path of the very lucky.
Some babies arrive on cue. Others never come, though mothers' hearts are waiting.
My own path to motherhood was excruciatingly long. I watched so many others pass ahead of me into the blissful realm of 2am feedings and endless snuggles. I hated Mother's Day, when women who already had it all got flowers and kind words while the child-shaped hole in my heart swallowed me whole.
Until, by the magic of technology and the grace of God, I had my own sweet girl.
Motherhood, it turns out, is worth celebrating. It's not easy watching a piece of my heart race headlong into life. The joy of it is overwhelming.
I am mother to a growing girl, a ray of sunshine, an overflowing helping of joy.
And this year I am also mother to very small shimmer, a heartbeat lost into the arms of Jesus.
I share this because so few people understand that motherhood is heart wrenching even before it begins. Celebrate, yes! But please be kind to a mother in waiting.