We were just about to leave for a formal event....dinner, champagne, lots of people dressed in suits and pretty gowns. We don't do formal very often, and honestly I feel sort of silly all dressed up. Embarrassed. I do love the look of pretty dresses, but I'm much more comfortable in jeans. So, I was kissing my girls farewell as we headed to the car and I took Kilian into my arms to get one last embrace. As I kissed his face and inhaled his sweet forehead one last time....well, you know what happened.
My floor-length black dress was now graced with a familiar white, slimy substance and my whole person smelled like stomach acid. Had I no children and this was perhaps a beverage running down my front I wonder how I would have reacted. With irritation, at minimum. But I am a mother. My "Oh no!" was followed by laughing and smiling, and I kissed my baby even more. Inside I exclaimed "thank you, thank you, thank you...". As we drove away all I could be was grateful. I never did get the stains off that night, but I wore them with great pride and gratitude all evening long.
One of the many, many small miracles of motherhood. To be able not only to accept the mishaps, frustrations and causes for anxiety, but to Love them and laugh at them - to see such occasions for what they are....real gifts and our way to heaven. I know, I'm taking a small, silly example and broadening it to mean something huge. But really, a mother's joy at throw-up isn't a small thing when you take into consideration all her other misfortunes - some quite large, embraced with love or mercy or even laughter on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis.
Sure, not every frustration is accepted with patience, much less joy. Of course not...I get that. But countless misfortunes dealt by our children are embraced lovingly. Motherhood changes a woman daily. It frees her from laziness and general self-absorbed ugliness. Some would consider the foul-smelling, white, dried spit up all over my dress that night an "ugly" aspect of motherhood. To me it was nothing short of beautiful.