"Mama Strong"

Walking up the stairs this evening with our Bonnie girl on one hip, full pregnant belly in the middle, and a load of miscellaneous items in the other arm, I stopped mid way letting out a "whew" as I readjusted for a moment. Bonnie looked me straight in the eyes, patted my shoulder, and said, "mama strong."

"Strong" is a word I don't think I've ever heard her say before that moment. The phrase "mama strong" seemed to me like an oxymoron at the time.  It certainly made me stop and think. Yes, I am strong. Here I am, carrying these two babies of mine, among other things, up flights of stairs day in and day out. Lugging strollers, baby-wearing, grocery lifting...  this is what she sees every day. To her, I am strong. At 35+ weeks pregnant, I feel physically the weakest I've ever been. Though Bonnie means just physically strong, I hope she someday sees more in her mother as I empower and encourage her to be a strong woman: bold, firmly grounded, physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally strong...

Understanding more than just physical strength, I hope she looks back and sees how independent I had to learn to be (though that is the last thing I'm good at). How flexible I learned to be. How I learned that it was a waste of time and energy to have grand expectations... or perfect plans...  How I've learned not to be as scared at night when daddy is away. How I've learned to say no and release expectations for myself... because, I can't do it all. Strong is a big word. Strong is a powerful word. I hope to be able to return the expression: "Bonnie strong" and wholeheartedly mean it in every sense of the word. What a great responsibility it is to be a mother to a daughter...