I watch them run around the room in childish abandon. I listen to them talk in the jibber jabber I am becoming accustomed to. And, if I’m honest….it doesn’t sound like a different language to me anymore.
I hear those little voices saying something, looking at me, wanting me listen, and I do. I am listening to them, no matter the jibberish that comes out. I watch their expectant faces. I see their excitement as they run to give me a hug.
I look into the eyes of children that will see both good and evil. I hear the voices that will one day cry out in anguish and joy. I hear the laughter that hasn’t been touched by anything but silly antics. I watch the arms reach for a hug and they reach me every time.
I look through the eyes of a young woman, because I am not a mother. But, I see glimpses of motherhood. I see it when they need me…. even when I am less than myself. I see it when I’m praying for patience. I see it when I am changing diaper after diaper. I see it when each day becomes a set schedule. I see it when they smile at me. I see it when I have to wipe away the tears of child who is experiencing pain…no matter how small that pain may seem. I see it in the real laughter that we share together. I see it by the way my heart has grown and changed because of them.
I am not a mother. I have not experienced that burden and joy, but I have glimpsed it. I have held the hands of a child that will one day hold another. I have made a child laugh, who will one day experience greater joy than the happiness we have shared. I have listened to a child’s jibber jabber who will one day speak intelligently and passionately. I have wiped away the tears of a child who will one day comfort someone. I have loved this child, but in no way, will my love be the deepest they ever know.
These are just glimpses.
I am not a mother. Not yet, anyway. I have a lot to learn before then. A lot more to learn than just changing diapers and keeping schedules. So, I will keep on learning, embracing the responsibilities that come my way. I will enjoy the children that I am privileged to care for. Because, I know that even the tiniest exchange between us is a glimpse into motherhood. And, they will teach me at any moment if I let them. So, for now, I learn.
I’m all grown up now. At least, as far as grown up is right now. I know I have a long way to go. Because in many ways, I am still a young child learning everything for the first time.