This kid. This kid right here.
She pushes my buttons and exhausts me, but she and her sister make everything I do better. Every day is more delicious. Every accomplishment more pronounced. I'm raising humans. I'm shaping them and they are shaping me. I feel fulfilled every day. I don't know what I was doing before that I thought was so important, but it pales in comparison to the time I spend with my daughters.
When I was a teenager I thought it was so unattractive to be the "Mormon Mom" who got married and had a posse of kids and spent all of her time raising those kids and doing not much else. Because I thought anyone could have kids, those moms must not have been good at much else. I cringe now to think of that former mentality. Having children is the best, most fun, amazing, and hardest thing I could possibly do. It takes guts, it takes inspiration, it takes hard work, and it takes every brain cell I have and all the ones I don't. All other careers, hobbies, activities, and callings are just so incredibly temporary when compared to having a family. My family is forever. The experiences and fulfillment I gain is forever. I may not be able to travel as much as I want, or get as much sleep, or read as many books, but nothing else will compare with the feeling of tiny little arms around my neck. The smell of my baby's cheek. Cheering on our kids on fields or in gyms or at pools, celebrating their wins and soothing their losses. Teaching them the importance of a promise and the enormity of God's love for them. Taking photos for dances and weddings. Jack and I will have a full table at Thanksgivings, stacks of pancakes and gifts on Christmas mornings, and sugar highs after walking the neighborhood on Halloween nights. Movie night traditions with bowls of popcorn, reading my favorite chapter books aloud at bedtime and experiencing all of my favorite parts through my children's eyes, and teaching them to sew, cook, and play the piano. When I have experienced all Father in Heaven wants me to experience in this life and I am an old lady sitting in my rocking chair trying to offer people hard butterscotch candies and petting a decrepit cat, I picture my sweetheart sitting next to me, but also a room full of the children I took such care with, and their children. All looking at me with love in their eyes.
I never considered myself a maternal person, or someone who was great with kids but right now the more kids Jack and I have, the more our lives are just filled with love; and even this early on God has qualified me in ways I couldn't even imagine. And just when I think my heart is so full it could possibly explode, we will have another baby. I'm excited to make room for however many spirits God sees fit to bless us with and will cry and cry when I get to the point where I feel like we have finished adding to our family.