Soft Places in a Mother’s Heart

by Ashley on February 20, 2014

PurseYou turned 1.

You walk.

You play games!

All this time I thought of you as just a baby, but now you’re a toddler. Already? When did that happen?

They all say it goes so fast, and they, for once, are right.

The days are long, but the year was much, much too short.

You’re at a clingy stage, and I can’t get anything done because you want me to hold you all the time. You can walk, but if I put you down, you cling to my legs, begging to be lifted into my arms again.

But you are also very independent. When you are in a better mood, you relish being free to roam, holding your toys or your trash, carrying your beloved possessions around the kitchen and living room. You smile, you laugh, you bring your gifts to me. You ask me to show you how things work. I show you games, and then you play them with me.

You like to play together and share your toys and even your paci. You have, however, made it clear you are not fond of sharing food. And today, for the first time, it became apparent that you aren’t fond of sharing me, either.

You have never been jealous of other babies before. You’re a laid back, easygoing baby. You are so happy; everyone says so. Always smiling.

We’ve played with other babies since you were a bitty thing, and you never cared if I picked up or held or played with another baby. You might look at me with slight confusion, but you would continue playing or eating or crawling, not giving the incident any more thought.

What was different today?

You saw a little girl sit in my lap to read a book. Across the room, a look of distress came across your sweet face. You walked over and worried about the little girl in my lap. You did not want her sitting there. Not at all.

You asked to be held and so I held you because I love you and I would never, ever trade you for another baby. When she left, you sat in my lap until you felt satisfied that no one was stealing your Mommy.

You were playing and I sat watching you. The little girl again came over to me, this time to give me some little treasured gift. You worried about that little girl and came over again to claim your Mommy. She left, oblivious to your anxiety. You stood before me, asking to be picked up, held and comforted. I did comfort you and reassured you that you were my treasure, my precious gift, never to be traded or discarded.

You were comforted and, satisfied no one was stealing your Mommy, went to play again.

You were nearer to me this time, to keep an eye on me, I suppose. You played with some toy when another baby, nearby, began to cry. That baby’s mommy was in another room, so I went to pick her up and comfort her. I had to step around you to get to her. I had to pass you by. And though I was still within arm’s reach of you, you cried, clinging to my legs, looking up at me, asking why I would do such a thing, pass you by and choose another baby instead.

I can’t bear that sad, sweet face.

I bent to pick you up, but I couldn’t hold you both, so I simply sat with you and snuggled you until the other baby’s mommy came back. Then I picked you up, you alone, and hugged you and reassured you.

You have never been jealous before. Maybe you were just tired.

But to know now that you really know who I am, that I am important to you, oh my sweet love, you have no idea how that knowledge overcomes me.

I know you can never love me like I love you. But you do love me too, not just because I clean you and rock you and feed you and play with you, but because I’m your Mommy.

In this clingy stage, you frustrate me because you used to enjoy playing with your toys while I was in sight, perhaps washing dishes at the sink. But now, you say, that cannot be tolerated.

My darling, I will stop forcing you to tolerate it. I will concentrate on you and devote my attention to you. There is no chore, no list, no errand more important than you. The time has already passed so quickly, and there isn’t much left. You already walk, you will soon talk, then school and activities will take you away from me, and then some boy will come along and take you even farther away.

I can’t bear that thought right now. The thing I can bear, and gladly, is putting off the tasks that must be done until another time. Perhaps a time less convenient for me, but nothing about having a baby has been convenient.

You are terribly, marvelously inconvenient and loved beyond comprehension.

I pray you always will be so.

May you always be happy, my sweet, and may goodness and love follow you all the days of your life.


Oh, sweet Ashley, you totally get this thing called “motherhood.” Enjoy every second of this tiring, frustrating, exhilarating and rewarding wild ride, because as you said so perfectly, it will be behind you in a flash. You will one day be an old lady like me, sitting in her chair and reading the thoughts of young people and remembering my own memories that passed oh so quickly! Enjoy!!!

by Robin on February 21, 2014 at 7:52 am. Reply #

Robin, I already look back on the year and remember “how it used to be” — how tiny she was, cheering her on as she rolled over, watching her crawl for the first time, then take her first step. It doesn’t seem that long ago, and then again, it seems like forever ago. I’m enjoying each new stage as it comes along. I have to, because it doesn’t stay long! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

by Ashley on February 21, 2014 at 10:32 am. Reply #

Ashley, it seems like yesterday when you bared your soul about the question of being a mommy……whether it was something you were destined to do. This post totally answers that question, and with an exclamation point! Your precious daughter is one lucky angel.

by Susie Gonzalez on February 21, 2014 at 10:41 am. Reply #

Susie, yes, she has confirmed that becoming a mommy was a very good idea indeed! But I have long since realized that I am the lucky one 😀 I only hope that at the end of all this, she will, too, feel lucky. Thanks for reading!

by Ashley on February 21, 2014 at 10:53 am. Reply #

How sweet. You should print copies every blog post you write about her and bind them into a book (or more likely multi-volume tome) to give her when she’s grown up. Don’t trust cyberspace to preserve such beautiful memories.

by Paula on February 26, 2014 at 6:01 pm. Reply #

I will definitely want to show her when she’s grown! At some point, though, I guess I’ll have to stop writing about her (publicly) so as not to embarrass her 😉 Thanks for stopping by, Paula!

by Ashley on February 26, 2014 at 9:55 pm. Reply #

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