I remember a few years back, someone asking me why I wanted to be a mom. I looked at her, and I didn't quite have an answer. It was a yearning, a feeling, but surely nothing I could really articulate in words.

But now, if someone asked me what the best part of being a mom is, my answer would be quick and clear: it's because it will break your heart. Every moment and every day, it will break your heart.

My heart breaks when I watch my Goosie putting her backpack on every single day, and every single day pleading with me after Magoo gets out of the car, saying so clearly, "Goosie go to class. Goosie want to go to class," and the sadness in her eyes as I buckle her in her carseat, not understanding why she can't go with the big kids into school.


It breaks when I sit in the back of church on all school mass days watching a sea of tiny heads, bowed in prayer, voices singing as if they came from the throats of angels, and then my eye fixes on one particular little bowed blonde head, and I literally choke on my breath as I realize that she is mine. This sweet, perfect, innocent little soul who kneels and prays to God because that's what we do, that's what God wants us to do, and that's all the explanation that her little heart needs.


It breaks when I see Mae, bouncing in her exersaucer, and her eyes as they light up when her sisters enter the room. When she gives them huge hugs and giggles because of all the kindness and love they have taught her to show. How at the tender age of 7 months, she already looks to them and already trusts them. And then it breaks again at the end of the day when she finally gives way to slumber, and I feel the weight of her little head on my shoulder, knowing I must put her down to sleep, but bargaining for one more moment to savor a tradition that will surely pass away in the matter of a few short years.


Our hearts break, and they break often. They break a million times in half the number of days. They break for happy reasons and for sad reasons. They break out of longing and out of hope and out of disappointment and out of joy. They break when we see our little ones breaking, and they break when we see them shining. They break for what might come as much as for what has come or for what is.

We can't fix what hasn't been broken, and there's no surer way to the most perfectly broken heart than motherhood.

This was originally published in August of 2013 on Indisposable Mama.