I'm laying in bed.
I'm thinking instead of sleeping again. I'm thinking about how late it is. Thinking about you. And you.
I turn over and stare at a strong, quiet face - covered in stubble. It's a peaceful face. Sound asleep. It's one of your most favourite faces in the world.
I marvel at how the brain inside that head has the ability to be so carefree. I wonder if he ever lays awake thinking about every little thing that happened that day. Would sleep ever take a backseat to the worry that he didn't do good enough today?
I doubt it.
And thank goodness. We need one normal one in the family, right?
I smile to myself. I'm joking. I know I'm normal. I know you think I'm normal. I know millions of other Moms are just like me. I know millions of other Dads are just like the stubbly sleeper next to me.
But it doesn't ease the buzzing in my head. The over-thinking. The wonder.
Will your little 2-year old self remember that I lost my cool and yelled at you? Will you remember the morning we played on your bed for over an hour - kissing and hugging, then laughing... hiding under the covers, giggling and rolling around.
Will you, my sweet little 10-month old, have happy memories growing up in our new house? Playing in the court outside, running and biking and picking up leaves and insects.
Will you love our holiday traditions as much as I did growing up? Will you think I took enough pictures of you? Will you talk about our family vacations with fondness when you're grown?
What does it take to do it right? What do I need to do? What do I need to say?
Of course, I realize, for the most part I just need to be. Be present. Be here for you. Kiss your boo-boos. Hug you each morning. Tell you how happy I am to see you when you get home from school. Just be me.
Because "me" is someone who loves you intensely. Who can't quite remember being someone other than your Mom.
Someone who will always do things like smile and laugh with an incredible amount of pride because you blew out your 2nd birthday candle all by yourself. Or play peek-a-boo with you in the middle of the grocery store because I love seeing your 10-month old gummy smile.
And as you get older, as I make different choices - like putting you into daycare, like contemplating returning to work - I'm learning. About you, and me, and the decisions I have to make as a parent.
There's no script to follow. I can't answer the question "what does it take to be a good Mom". There are no rules for everyone to obey.
But, I do know that it doesn't matter if we stay at home with them or work, have one child or have six, if they've got special needs or not, if we believe in attachment parenting or if we're laissez-faire. We all have the same worries. The same feelings. The same questions.
And we all love like we've never loved before.
Remember that, my girls. Remember that I love you.
Remember that, Moms. Remember that you love like you've never loved before.
And for that reason, the kids are going to be alright.
Everything's going to be alright.