Of the many hats I wear in life, ‘Mom’ is most assuredly the most worn. Faded from wear, tattered and in desperate need of a wash, I slip it on every day – sometimes wear it throughout the night – and only briefly take it off when I have the privilege of switching it for the ‘Wife’ hat on date night.
My children exhaust me; wear me out, every day. Granted I only have two of them. But they are busy wee ones with growing minds and bodies, whose mouths can’t quite keep up with all they want to say and whose little legs just never seem to run as fast as they’d like them to. (Unless of course they’ve got their new shoes on.)
And while I know my Mom Hat was tailored specifically for me, there are those days where it just doesn’t sit quite right…the fit seems off…and I find myself wanting nothing more than to trade it in. It is on those days, I take that hat and I hold it tightly to my head, so that no matter what sort of storm may come up my hat will not fall off. My children know me by it; my husband praises me for it; my friends and those nearest to me see it and know just when it needs to be perked up…readjusted so that I am reminded of what a treasure it is. Because truth be told, of all the gifts I have ever received, that hat is the finest.
My kids are growing up. And while it’s true, they are still both preschoolers, my time with them at home grows short. These days are priceless. I will be the mom who drops her firstborn off at kindergarten and proceeds to ugly cry in the car until it’s time to pick her up. (I mean, for goodness sake, the waterworks are on full blast as I write this and it’s still a year away.) It has suddenly hit me square in the face that I will not ever get this time back. This is it. This is the only time in life where my children will beg me to lay beside them while they fall asleep; take my hand and, beaming with pride, lead me to the puzzles they were finally able to put together all on their own; ask me if we could please do hugs and kisses just once more, even though we both know there’s never just one more; snuggle in to my side and fit so perfectly it’s as though they have always, always been a part of me; ask me to fix things, while telling me normally Daddy does this but you can try and then he can fix it again when he’s home; bring me the picture they drew, just for me, because somehow they knew I needed it that day; run to me when they are hurt or scared because I am their safety net; rather sit with me than play with their friends; take my face in their precious, grimy, little chubby hands, and tell me I love you, Mom. You’re my best mom, just because they were thinking it in that moment.
These brief years are but a small glimpse into a child’s world of imagination, dreams and determination. And so I wear my tattered, stinky Mom Hat with pride, day in and day out, because I know there is coming a time when it will hang somewhere in the house and only be worn when needed. And that’s okay too, because then I get to wear my Wife Hat much more, and date nights will turn into date days and weeks, filled with adventures with my husband; the man I love most in this world.
But for now, I am Mom. And oh, do you like my hat?