Written by Marykate O’Malley, mother of three wonderful children, Gladwyne, PA
Carrying 2 babies, one in my arms, one in my tummy. My oldest on her first birthday.
Mothers are artists and skilled professionals when it comes to the art of holding. Just now I carried up the stairs under my left arm a load of laundry with fresh sheets, a phone in the crook of my neck while chatting with my closest friend and in my right hand I balanced a cup of freshly brewed chai tea. I clicked off the phone and here I sit thinking about all the things I have been carrying over the years.
Newborn babies home from the hospital, fragile, tiny and perfect, carried like the finest china in awe of every eyelash twitch and sacred noise. I carry baby dolls and baseball mitts, school bags home from the school bus, trophies and Popsicle wrappers. “Here Mom” and I am handed sea shells, and empty lunch bags, coats and sweaters. “Mom can you hold this?” and I am tossed dolls and soccer balls, coveted stuffed animals and empty water bottles.
I stand at class plays with flowers, and the cookies we made for the after party, my camera dangling around my neck and in my other hand my daughter’s props. “Here Mom”, they know we have been carrying them and their supplies long before they came into this world. They know that the diaper bags and bottles made way for toys, sticks and rocks, books and most importantly, for hands.
We carry babies in our wombs, nourish them, feed them and then once born, we feed them and carry them in arms, on hips and baby carriers. They fall at 5 and scrape their knees, we carry them home to patch them up with band aids and Mommy kisses to make it better. We carry their hopes, their fears, every birthday wish made when the candles are blown out, every smile, every tear, with us. I once read our children’s cells from pregnancy remain in our bodies sometimes for decades. It’s amazing and miraculous to consider. We never stop carrying our children, the umbilical cord remains.
We are mothers. We carry all.
With deepest love for my oldest daughter, who nine years ago today came into this world. I am so proud to be the mother of such a beautiful child in every sense of the word. She inspires me every day with her kindness and grace. I love you sweet sweet girl!