I Didn’t Know I Loved — A Mother’s Day Poem

This morning I was notified by Facebook that I have memories to look back on. Breaking typical morning routine protocol, I called my 7-year-old, Ivy, up on the bed with me to watch what turned out to be videos from when my daughter first learned the word “mine” and where her nose was. We watched the videos of a giggling girl with a healthy dose of jokester attitude and it reminded me of how grateful I am to be a mother. Motherhood is one of the scariest roles I have ever taken on, and it was great to take a few minutes this morning to look back all of the thing I loved about being a new mom.

I didn’t know I loved the sound of a crying baby…
the sweet, helpless, infant-specific wail of fear and unrest
what do you do to help to satisfy
what if there is nothing to do,
would I then too just cry?
a warm bottle, a snug swaddle, a gentle tune mostly off key
a bellow only a loving parent’s cradle can peace
soothing to cooing — gently adrift off to sleep
these numbered days the true beginning of a love
that will last a forever.

I didn’t know I loved the smell of a fresh pack of diapers…
alongside scentless wipes for the most sensitive of skin
how changing, powdering, wiping, and cream
result in a bright and glistening eyed giggle of glee
how mundane mothering tasks begin the bond
the chores and the hardships nothing to the knowing look that
I am her savior, protector, provider,
and of me she is in awe.

I didn’t know I loved puddles of drool…
from a deeply sleeping, softly breathing, slightly snoring babe
a sweating tight snuggle making the contented sticky puddle
snorting motorcycle hands, gentle tossing, and satisfied sighs
her healing sweetness and hypnotic breath’s gentle fall and rise
ninja-like transfers to the crib, followed by a light whisper of a kiss
breathe in smile — purely content.

Each day a new day, a new milestone, a new depth to love
every puddle, every diaper, and the countless tears,
I didn’t know I could love so many things I had feared…

This poetry format was inspired by Nazim Hikmet’s Things I Didn’t Know I Loved.

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