But Greyson's birthday always has me the weepiest. Simply because his birthday is also the anniversary of the day I became a mom.
One of my favorite bloggers Lindsay Mead once wrote that motherhood is 'the prism through which all of life is seen'. I've reflected on this exact sentiment a million times, and I haven't been able to find a better way to describe how I feel about motherhood.
Since that day six years ago, when all the joy and love and worry and hope that comes with being a parent was revealed in that sudden and overwhelming moment when I looked into our son's eyes - motherhood has since been the lens through which the rest of every aspect of my life has been viewed.
It is natural for me to define myself by the roles I play in my life. I am a woman, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend - each of these vastly important to the ways that I make decisions or react to news and situations. But being a mum, has by far blanketed every aspect of my life more so than any other role I hold.
My momiversary is like a silent celebration of all the ways I learned and grew and adapted since becoming a mum.
All those nights that I peeked on sleeping babies, the messy faces I've wiped, the sibling battles I broke up, the unfounded worries I wished away in the minutes before I fell asleep, the hugs and snugs and kisses and sniffs of tops of heads, of all the scheduling and errands and grocery lists and birthday plans and holiday wishlists, the emptying of pockets to find rocks and crayons and nail polish bottles, all the first sips of coffee, the stolen pieces of chocolate, the pounding on the bathroom door when I'm in the shower; all the noses blown, the teeth brushed and nails clipped and booboos kissed; the waking up early, the waking up in the middle of the night, the waking up when I didn't know I had just fallen asleep on the couch in the middle of the day, all the books I can read blindfolded because their words are burned into my memory.
It's giving pause to all those moments where the good of everyone else in our family took precedent over the good for me; as tends to be the way of moms. Like one of my favorite momma quotes credited to Tenneva Jordan which says, "A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie."
Although I now have six years experience as a Mum, the vast majority of my days are still spent wondering how much I might be screwing this all up. The biggest lessons I have learned over the last six years though have been: that patience actually is an incredible virtue, that I have been blessed with an amazing and supportive 'village' of whom I could not do this without, and that when push comes to shove - what my children need most from me is love.
I still have so much to learn, so many ways to be better and more patient and more kind (not only to this family of mine, but kinder to myself), so much life to enjoy and be frustrated by and to grow from. And each year, as we sing and hug and celebrate our oldest boy's birthday, I also send out a kiss of gratitude for the opportunity to do this thing; to be these kids' mum. A silent celebration in my heart for my momiversary.
Becoming a mum was like pulling the curtains back to reveal a window I didn't even know was in the room. It flooded my whole space with new light, new perspective, and a view far into the future; a future that I'm not even permitted to go. As our kids continue to grow, I see them venturing farther from my window view, and someday they'll make it all the way to the horizon. They turn back to see me giving them a thumbs up and a smile; the windowpane fogging up as I whisper in hope that they'll 'do all the things we've practiced,' and 'I'm proud of you,' and 'I love you, my darlings.'
It has, is, and forever will be a privilege to have such a close seat next to this window that looks out on their lives. Forever and ever, for all of my life, the fact that I am these kids' mum will always be the north star of my soul.