For me Valentine’s day isn’t just an opportunity to celebrate romantic love it’s a time to celebrate all of the special types of love I’ve been so blessed and honored to experience as a mother. Motherhood has shaped my heart in miraculous ways. When I met my first born I couldn’t imagine experiencing a greater love. My heart was hers to keep (it still is). And then another love entered my life. Recently I found myself reflecting on some of the sentiments on second children I shared here at Disney Baby:
Our second child often teaches us that while as mothers our hearts often feel full they are never too full. We can make room — room to love the next love of our life without measure and with as much fervor as the first. Perhaps differently but no less.
So in celebration of love and in particular the beautiful love that we have for our babies, a love that has no limits and is void of conditions, here are a few lovely quotes on love and parenthood:
Next week, my littlest love will attend her very first Valentine’s Day soirée! Her classroom is having a celebration. Lola will be quite festive when she wears her pink shirt sprinkled with sparkly hearts, but there’s still one thing we need to get — valentines! Because Valentine’s Day is all about showing love, now seems like the perfect time time to help Lola show love to her new friends and teachers. Plus, I have to admit, the idea of little ones handing out valentines is awfully cute.
This week we are testing the daycare waters in an effort to help prepare Lola for my return to work. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a little one in daycare and since I’ve worked at one (in college I worked at the Children’s Center on campus). I find myself trying to recall what that time was like in my life. It wasn’t just frenzied mornings and last minute searches for binkies (pacifiers) and a diaper bag packed with more supplies than necessary. It was a chance to establish a routine something I always struggle to do when at home, a chance to perfect the art of goodbye kisses and gigantic hugs at the end of the day (trying to see the positive).
My Dearest Lola Bee,
These past few weeks have been bittersweet. My return to work is closer than ever before. This month, your mama is returning to work, and you are starting “school.” My eyes well up as I type those words. School means you won’t be at home. We won’t be at home. We’ve been together, you and me, since you were born. The first time I was away from you was when your daddy and I traveled out of state for a few days last month. I cried every day. I longed to be next to you. To listen to your breaths. To cradle you in my arms and make you giggle with glee. Nana was the one wiping your tears, and I desperately wanted it to be me. I know these moments are fleeting, and I don’t want to miss one.
But that weekend I learned that the sadness I feel when I am away from you and your sister, whether for a few hours or a couple of days, is okay. I feel that way because I love you so much. And missing the people you love is natural. I can’t help but think of how blessed I am to have people to miss. People to love. You to love. How fitting that this month we celebrate the magic of love. And if you haven’t figured it out by now, it is quite grand.
Next month I am headed back to work full time outside of the home. When I shared the news with a friend she described it as bittersweet. The sweet – I am headed to a place that although challenging provided me with the opportunity to make a difference. Long term it was the best choice for our family. The bitter – My days will no longer be filled with my baby. For the past 17 months I have been by her side. I have watched her accomplish every milestone, I have held her in my arms and together we have embarked on countless adventures. Working from home was such hard work. But it was the best kind of work I’ve ever done. I had a chance to throw my entire being into caring for my family. If I wasn’t working I was loving and nurturing. What that looked like day to day might have varied as some days called for laundry and dishes, cruising down the store aisles at Target while other days called for a picnic in the park with big sister or a surprise lunch date with daddy or nana. But as I said it has been the best kind.