I spent today, April 17, 2019, at home with my children, after their school was closed due to the threat of violence from a deranged, teenager obsessed with the Columbine high school massacre. I spent the day in fear and sadness, but also cherishing my children. I thought I would share this “homage to motherhood” from my book Spirit Baby, as we all hug our loved ones a little bit tighter.

“These days Chris and I live in a monotonous world of
laundry, running errands, and cleaning up after kids and their
variety of pets. Typical days now involve carting the twins to
the children’s museum, swim lessons, and Costco in a muddy,
Cheerios-and-dog-fur covered (but bumper sticker-free) Honda

We’re lucky if we get two to three date nights a year, are way
too exhausted for a robust sex life, and dream of the day when our
kids are old enough to attend sleep-away camp, so we can finally
take a relaxing vacation (or just watch Netflix and sleep). Not
that I’m complaining, although there are days when I hide in my
closet in the dark again, immobilize the kids in car seats and drive
around aimlessly belting my heart out to Adele, and steal all their
animal crackers and dip them in Nutella.

But then there are those sweet and tender moments when the
twins reach out to hold my hands as I walk them to school, ask
to climb into bed with me in the mornings, and ask for “bunny,
elephant, squish and mega” kisses at night. Plus, who wouldn’t
love a stick figure portrait of “Mume” with yellow hair that
reaches the ground, giant circle knees, and enormous red nails—
not to mention spontaneous dance parties, macaroni necklaces,
woven potholders and pinecone sculptures, and family-themed
Halloween costumes?

Even after the toughest days of parenting (the nonstop
bickering in the car, full meltdowns in public places, and “you’re
mean because you make me eat vegetables, won’t buy me a
cellphone, don’t let me play video games all day” rants), I always
tuck my kids into bed, read them books, sing songs, including
“Summertime,” give them hugs and kisses, and tell them how
much I love them. All this because I will never forget how much
it hurts to have a father who never hugged or said I love you, a
stepfather who made me feel like an unwanted burden, and a
stepmother who betrayed my trust and ruined my relationship
with my family.

But most of all, I’ll never forget how hard we fought, how
much we suffered, and how long we wished to become parents.
And I will never take motherhood for granted.”