Pretty much everything comes as an instant product these days. Instant jell-o, instant coffee, instant noodles, instant pain relief, instant messaging, instant video streaming, and instant pot…just to name a few.
Let’s not forget those “just add water” instant grow toys. You know the ones. The packaging boasts that if you “just add water”, the brightly colored pellet will magically and instantly grow into a dinosaur, or a marine animal, or a superhero…before your very eyes.
When I think about how I became an immediate mother, that’s one picture that comes to mind: a small red pellet advertised as “Instant Mom – Just Add Water!”
But that’s not exactly how I became a Mom.
I became a Mom when I said the words, “I do.”
Motherhood was a deep longing I’d had for years before I met my husband, who happened to be a pretty amazing (and handsome), widowed single dad. So it seemed like a pretty great bonus to become a wife and a mom when we got married.
Motherhood was also something I thought I was prepared for, what with the previously mentioned longings, plus my extensive work with and love for children.
Cue the smiles and the knowing glances.
I mean, even the most natural and marvelous moms are caught off guard by many of the nuances of motherhood.
Needless to say, when my red pellet began to grow into a full-size Mom figure overnight, there were naturally some growing pains as well. And occasionally this threw me for a loop. But there was also some major growing in my heart that I could not have imagined.
Sure, there were moments of confusion and panic. Maybe even months of “Have I completely screwed up as a Mom?” as a constant companion in my head. There were tears and misunderstandings. There were family dynamics that had drastically changed and with that, unspoken boundaries were sometimes crossed.
But there were the four of us, trudging forward.
Creating fresh family traditions while honoring the former ones as well.
Treasuring the fact that we all had new people who were now a part of us, who belonged with us.
Pinching ourselves because we could hardly believe that we had someone to call “daughter” or “mom” or “wife” or “husband”, after years of waiting.
There were living room dance parties.
A full row at dance recitals, band concerts and baptisms.
And eventually, my growing belly meant we added even more to our family.
Years have passed. I call you mine and you call me yours, and together, we are a beautifully messy family. I’ll be the first to admit that your “just add water” red pellet didn’t grow into an Instant Mom who was perfect. But I CAN guarantee…the red thing that grew in me…grew larger and larger…and continues to do so.
And it will forever beat your names, my loves.