The anniversary of me.

8 years ago today was the last day I walked around as just me.

How could I have known then all that becoming a mommy would do to me, would mean to me, would change me?

I sat in my little office trying to ignore the discomfort of the escalating pains building in muscles I didn’t think still existed. Focused on getting all my work done because somehow i just “knew”, without really knowing, that life was going to change in the next 24 hours. I drove home happily blaring songs on my radio, in my cool cherry red jeep grand cherokee. I watched a television show that I wanted to watch. I ate ice cream for dinner just because that’s what I felt like eating. I didn’t sleep a wink because the “cramps” (aka to the experienced mother as “contractions”) were getting so bad.

I walked into the room we had so lovingly prepared, still not knowing if my baby was a boy or a girl, and touched all the adorable teeny tiny little things that were for this squirmy painful thing inside my hugely expanded belly. I remember spending two hours doing my hair that morning. I don’t remember why it took so long, nor why it was so gol-danged important that I had to do it, but oh the luxury!

And that was pretty much the last time in the past 8 years, that I have HAD such a luxury! That evening I became a mommy. I found out what it was to have a part of you forever torn from your heart and walking around on this earth, open to any injury or wound from careless words, horrible viruses, and idiotic people. I became who i really am today. Of course I didn’t know then that I would possess the strength to endure four long painful labors (ok three long ones, and one crazy quick one), that i would have the endurance to go weeks on end with next to no real sleep while my babies adjusted to life outside the protection of my womb, the patience to teach a wriggly little human being how to eat, and how to sit up, and how to use the toilet and how to tie their shoes and how to do somersaults and how to color with the outside shading and how to write their name.

i had no idea of all that I had inside of me on this day 8 years ago.

I thought it was just a baby. Possibly a kitten. But pretty sure a baby.

And i ended up finding out it was so much more.

Sometimes I miss that girl I was before February 27, 2002. I miss the carefreeness of being able to have my schedule affect me and only me. I miss the fact that my hips used to be in the original position that God put them in. I REALLY miss being able to fit into normal sized bras/jeans/etc. I miss a number on the scale that I am unlikely to ever see again in this lifetime. I miss the brain cells/capacity for memory that i had. But i still catch glimpses of her every now and then.

when we turn on crazy hannah montana songs and dance around together, me and my baby girls, while we are cleaning up 387 polly pocket pieces and ground-in pop tart.

when we sometimes have ice cream for dinner, just because that’s all we feel like eating.

when i see my little girls laugh so hard they throw their heads back and let loose an obnoxiously loud fit of contagious laughter.

when i see my baby girl hitching up her jeans from falling off her too skinny little body and hoist her backpack onto her thin little shoulders (sad, she’ll never have the shoulders for most dresses…), and board a bus that has held some scary moment for her in the past all by herself.

when I see the determination in the eyes of my littlest brave toaster, setting her mind to figuring out how to make her muscles work together to get over to that toy she so badly wants to play with.

when i see them all together – loving each other, helping each other, sticking together on the nites when it’s been a long hard week and everyone is tired – i see how far I have come.

So today I’ll raise a glass (of McD’s coke – some things never change) – to me. To celebrate the me that once was, and the me that i have become. And to all the moms out there, who never realized just how much becoming a mom would change you, and yet are making the changes every day.

bottoms up.


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  1. Catching up on you neighbors right across the street (on the computer, sad, very sad!) and reading all of your informative, beautiful, detailed, amusing (sometimes laugh out loud hilarious!) anecdotes about all that transpires in the lives of the Atkinsons….and I just go ‘whew…..’ (seriously, I know I’m not the only person to have said this to you, but you absolutely must turn all of your blog into a book one day….when you get some free time:) And then your post today is so lovely, Terra, so beautiful, and so true! You’ve had to dig pretty darn deep to be the constant rock for your family, I would guess, or maybe it was there all along, just waiting to be tapped. I think of you and the girls dancing around to Hannah Montana and it makes me smile! I hope for you that you get more and more of those ‘simple’, normal moments, which are neither simple nor normal, but extraordinary and life-changing! And a BIG Happy Birthday to Miss Kealey! I’m sure Evan will tell me ALL about her b-day celebration in class today!! Have a great weekend! You ALL deserve it!

  2. Thanks for this one Terra – I LOVE reading your posts. You have a way with words – for some reason this one brought me to tears. Not sadness just all a mom goes through and I wouldn’t change it for the world – my kids are number 1 to me! Thanks for sharing! btw – one McD lover to another – this always makes me laugh. 🙂

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