My children are my little miracles—that’s what I always say. They brighten my day and keep my grounded. Nothing I’ve experienced in life before this has made me feel the kind of loving bond I feel with them, even though the consecutive pregnancies did eventually result in the word “POOP” being spelled out on my abdomen in all-caps stretch marks.
Regardless, having children has been a dream from the moment I brought my oldest child home to the arrival of the twins just a year and a half later. But just to be clear, what they say about stretch marks is true—sometimes to the extent where the white lines on your skin now spells “POOP” on your body. But is that their fault? Technically yes, but I don’t blame them for it.
I love that my kids can grow up with each other in one big happy family, giggling on car rides or fighting over a bowl of popcorn. Sure, it took me two years to take the weight off from the second pregnancy, but on the other hand, I’ll never wear a bikini again unless someone’s in a really bad place and I desperately need to make them laugh because my stomach says “POOP” on it.
My son Michael just started first grade. The twins, Julian and Louisa, now know how to swim. I love watching the kids grow up and change. I just wish I could say the same about the word “POOP” stretched irreversibly into my skin, that no lotion will ever erase. Not even prescription-level stuff. Not even the persistent scraping or screaming into the void.
But hey, nobody said having kids was perfect! Except my mother and all of her sisters and family and friends.
Every day my children teach me to be a better version of myself—to be present while reading them a story and to be more patient with myself as I grow. I do wish, however, that I could grow into someone who doesn’t have nature’s version of a “POOP” tattoo.
My children see things I don’t even notice, like a cool bug on the sidewalk or the color of a friend’s shirt. They also, now that they’re learning to read, see the word “POOP” spelled out, huge, on my stomach when I change my shirt in front of them, so I guess I’ll have to stop doing that.