Not like that first newborn lap around the block.
It’s so much more.
A protective mindfulness.
The strength to take one more step.
A pride and appreciation.
For getting to push the stroller.
When you’re first expecting, you test these things out.
You find what’s comfortable.
You research what’s safe.
Because you don’t know what all awaits, but you know it’ll get heavy and bumpy as the gravels get rough.
And you’ll be pushing the stroller.
I decided to strap in my youngest for a quick walk outside today. I wanted some exercise, and it was mild and sunny.
The start was easy.
Then came the hills.
And I had to pick up my pace.
He got fussy and started fighting to break away.
And I felt the frustration drip with sweat down my face.
I was tired and realized he didn’t notice how much energy I just gave.
To push the stroller.
And I remembered how his older brothers did the very same thing.
How they got bigger and decided they’d rather go their own way.
And finally jumped out to take quick footsteps by my side.
I’m sure they never even realized I was still pushing the stroller.
Still trying to steer us toward the safe and narrow way.
Still keeping them near my heart, lifting them back up each time they’d scrape a knee.
Still moving forward with an eye on the destination ahead.
Still willing to hold them up as they needed to stop and take a breath.
And I know it’ll be a lifelong exercise in stretching as the distance between us grows even more.
But I’ll walk in stride with a heart full of memories, cheering them on as they go.
And thank God for the beautiful, sacred calling it is to be a mother.
A mother who gets to push the stroller.
Words by: Jaclyn Warren of Mommys15Minutes. For more encouragement and love, follow along at Mommys15Minutes on Facebook and on Instagram at @Mommys15Minutes.