Being A Mom Leaves Stretch Marks on the Heart

I’ve never given my stretch marks a second thought. After all, they’re not that big, they’ve faded over time and aren’t very noticeable, and besides, I don’t regret any of them because they mark me as a mother.

I’d forgotten they were even there, to be honest. But the other morning as I stood bent over, eye-to-stretch mark, I couldn’t miss them. And suddenly, I had a thought about how a different type of stretch mark is happening to me right now. It’s one that no one else can see, but it marks me as a mother just the same.

My oldest daughter – the OG stretch mark maker, herself – left on Thursday to go halfway around the world to perform with her dance company, The Jefferson Dancers. They’re in the South of France (Ooh! La! La!) for ten days.

It’s my heart that’s being stretched right now – and it’s going to leave a mark for sure.

How My Daughter’s Invisible Challenges Taught Me Not to Judge Other Parents

Many children face invisible challenges. From behavioral issues to physical impairments, the path these kids travel to reach developmental milestones requires immense effort — often by the entire family.

So yes, that is my daughter crying to be rescued from the second rung of a ladder. That is me running to her. But she is brave in ways others cannot see, and I am challenging her in ways they cannot comprehend.

When The Baby Years Are Gone

I never know when it will happen. The moments when Time pushes against me. It happened before I had kids, but Time shoves back harder and faster now that I’m watching you grow.

I expect it when we cross the big milestones: Whenever I pack away one size of clothes to make room for another, Pre-K Graduation, birthday parties with Elmo cupcakes, writing the first day of school on a chalk board for you to hold, grinning wide despite your fear of the unknown.

But it’s the moments I’m not expecting that take my breath away.