Amongst the endless hours of frustration, boredom and not-in-a-good-way challenges are those motherhood moments.
The times it hits you what it's all about. The moments, when the love and pride you feel puffs out from your chest like a vast pink balloon... one which is surely visible for all the world to see.
Oh the wonder of them...the wonder of having created them!
Some of my Pink Balloon moments...
1. The little standoffs... she, arms crossed, determined. Telling me that black is white and night is day, and that is that, Mummy. Because - naturally, at three and a half years old - she's blessed with an infinite knowlege of the world to which mere adults are not privvy.
Like David to Goliath, she will stand up for her assertions (even in the face of irrefutable proof otherwise). That immutable sense of self.... I hope you never lose that my darling. You are fierce, my tigress. I admire you.
2. Believing in magic. That broccoli will make your arms grow long enough to reach the monkey bars (she believes this so feverently, she's even been known to snack on raw broccoli at night before bed - now that's commitment!), that if you brush your teeth every night you will have teeth like a Disney Princess, that Santa really is talking to her from the North Pole, not just me with my poor ventriloquist skills booming "ho ho ho"!
This magic wand, powered by the fairy dust of generations of believing, is right there at my fingertips. I promise to use it wisely.
3. Boundless enthusiasm and delight in the ordinary. A piece of toast, cut into a different shape to yesterday ("Wow!") A new episode of a favourite show ("This is my best show, ever ever!"). An ant. A old, broken toy. Plastic bubble wrap. Tickles. I want to learn from your joy in free things, too.
4. Sitting watching TV and stroking smooth little arms and legs, unconsciously, as you sit in my lap. Soaking you in through the pores of my skin. I am as helpless to stop touching you as our planets are to resist the gravitational pull of the earth. I wonder if my own mother misses this.
5. Hero idolation for doing the smallest thing, like setting up your paddling pool ("That's SO super dooper! Mummy you are my BEST friend."). I wonder if you know that those words - that I am your best friend - fill my heart with lightning-bolts of joy.
6. When it's always, and only, me who can soothe and comfort after a fall and apply a Dora bandaid "just so".
7. When I sneak in to fix the doona and gaze at the chubby face that, hours earlier was berating me singing the "wrong" words (read: different to her interpretation) to an advertising jingle, now transformed in repose. Sleep melts years away and I see my newborn, my 6 month old, my wobbly beginner-walker in those flushed cheeks.
I see the face of what's becoming too. And the beauty of it just breaks my heart.
What are your pink balloon moments?