What if...

With it being Mother's Day this week, I have been thinking about all the blessings these three little creatures have brought to my life. I am certain I would be a completely different person had I never become a mother. There have been good times, bad times, hard times, and a whole lot of fun times. And in honor of all that mothers are, here is a list of things I would have missed had I never become a mother.

If I wasn't a mother...

I'd never know the feeling of tiny growing feet kicking my ribcage, kidneys, bladder, and other internal organs. Or how it felt to stare in wonder and awe at my own belly, watching an elbow or a foot sliding by.

I would have missed out on the indescribable exhilaration I felt hearing my babies cry for the very first time.

I would not have known just how sweet each baby would smell first thing in the morning.

I would not have spent hours peeking over the edge of a crib to make sure they were still breathing. (I still do this one sometimes).

I would have missed all those sleepless nights.

I would have missed all those perfect mornings.

I probably would not have known the unmistakable sensation of vomit, urine, and feces simultaneously being spewed upon my shirt.

I would never have found out that I didn't mind it - because it came from them.

I wouldn't have seen the sheer joy on their faces when they each took that first step.

I would have missed my own sweet tears of joy, watching helplessly on the sidelines; proud, and yet knowing that this monumental step was the beginning of the journey that will ultimately make them independent of me.

I would never have thanked the Lord for Teletubbies, Elmo, Bob the Builder, or the Wiggles.

I would have been spared the heart-wrenching anxiety of putting that big five-year-old boy on the school bus for the first time.

I would then miss the extreme, guilt-free pleasure of putting another boy on that very same school bus a few years later.

And I wouldn't be looking forward with glee to the moment when the little girl person in this house boards the school bus this fall.

I would have missed reading all the stories - and their soft, contented breathing right before bedtime.

I most certainly would not have known McDonalds' entire menu by heart.

I would not know the intense pride I'd feel when I watched them learn new things.

I would not know just how much it would hurt to hold back my own fears and let them try things for themselves, even if I knew it meant disappointment for them.

    I would have missed seeing the Mama Tiger in me come out when I felt other kids had trampled over them on the playground.

    I would not know the worry and heartache of being helpless when they're sick.

    I would not know just how good granola bars and frosting are together.

    I would not have found my own inner strength during times when all I wanted to do was fall into a heap and cry, but could not because they were watching.

    I would have missed enjoying them reach a maturity level where they can talk about real-people type of things; a place where we can have actual conversations.

    I would not have grown in more ways than I can count.

    I would not be the me I am today. And I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.

    So whether you're a mother or simply have one, take time this weekend to tell her you love her. That's all she really wants anyway (...that AND a new scrapbooking printer - hint, hint!). Happy Mother's Day!