Happy third birthday to my Konnor.

It is really hard to believe just three short years ago we were at the hospital waiting…and waiting…and waiting for Konnor’s arrival. Here’s what I remember from that day.

Mama-to-be Kate was a trooper. Not only was she in labor for hours, but apparently being born on 08-08-08 was pretty remarkable so anyone and everyone who had a choice and was scheduling their child’s birth-day chose that day as well.

We arrived at the hospital to find every seat taken inside the maternity check-in area and every seat outside the waiting area taken as well. Kate literally spent hours laboring in the cafeteria. The only reason she was finally admitted and taken to a labor room was because her blood pressure was rising.

A room without a view, not a great nurse, hours and hours MORE of waiting, but when the little guy finally made his appearance it was all worth it. Konnor made my little girl a mother and he made me a grandmother. What a joy it’s been!

Here’s some of what I’ve learned these past three years. (1) Being a grandma is much less physically demanding than being a mommy. You get more sleep and generally you don’t have to do anything too strenuous. Of course, if you DO end up on the floor playing a game, it’s definitely much harder getting up than when you’re a young mommy.

(2) You get to say “This, too, will pass” or “I’m sorry; it really does get better.” I say it often, and it’s true. But it’s so very difficult to believe when you have two little ones and the older one (who used to be the apple of your eye) is now the reason you wonder why you ever become a parent to begin with. I can smile, nod with great understanding, and yet still be thankful I’m a grandma and no longer a mommy!

(3) As a grandma I really don’t mind messes. I know they can be cleaned up and stains that don’t come out just turn into funny stories. Well, maybe not so funny now, but definitely funny as time goes on. And while Magic Marker on the wood floor is not a good thing, it sure is fun to enjoy laughing faces filled with watermelon juice running all over the place.

(4) There are lots of other things I’ve learned or experienced by being a grandma but one thing is precious to me – getting to watch my own little girl be a mommy. I know she struggles with all the juggling life requires; of finding time for kids, hubby, and herself. I know the stress of wanting to be the best at everything and the sorrow when the realization hits you that you really can’t do it all.

But what I see in my daughter are not the failures she sees magnified, or the inadequacies mommies suffer all too often. No, I see the bliss on her face when she witnesses a gummy smile from the little guy or the exuberant delight of the three-year-old as he opens a VIDEO GAME for his birthday and shouts for joy while doing a happy dance.

She doesn’t know it, but I watch her often, spotting the warm heart and tender eyes as she watches over her little ones. I see the Mom who works so hard at everything, and often thinks no one notices. But I do. I see the sacrifices big and small and like mommies everywhere, I see how she quietly steps back and allows the needs of her children to come first.

I see her strength, not her weakness. I see her resilience, not her weariness. I see her determination, not her surrender. Then again, I’m a mom – her mom. And that’s what we mom’s do – we see the heart. It’s been my joy and my pleasure to watch her these past three years as she’s embarked on this wonderful journey of motherhood.

Happy birthday Konnor. And happy birth-day to you, my sweet daughter.

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