Yesterday, people wished me a happy Mother’s Day.  I got cards and gifts, phone calls and flowers.  It was surreal.

I’m still coming to grips with the idea that I’m a mother.

I’m a mother.  I’m a mother.  I’m a mother, I’m a mother, I’m a mother.

I feel like I’ve joined a club.  The biggest, most welcoming, most incredible club in the world.  Yesterday, I sat around a table of mothers – six of them – and realized that I was part of their club.  I received my membership via the most gorgeous child I’ve ever laid eyes on.

I didn’t want to be a mother.  And all of the things I was afraid of – the loss of time, of freedom, the loss of independence – it all happened.  Every bit of it happened.  And every day I have a minute or two when I imagine what life was like before I became a mother.  I remember sleeping in, having no responsibilities, having more money.  I remember staying out late on weeknights, and I remember reading books.  I remember plopping down on the couch after a long day at work.  I remember intimacy at odd hours of the day, and I remember spontaneous weekends in hotel rooms.

And I miss it.

But then I think of my girl, and what I’ve gained is infinitely better than what I lost.  I wouldn’t trade her for any book, any trip, any anything.  When she rests her head on my shoulder, and my heart swells to capacity, I know that what I have is better than anything I lost.

I feel like I haven’t quite earned the title of ‘mom’ just yet.  All I’ve done is keep her alive, helped her to grow.  I feel like the tough stuff is up ahead, when she feels unpretty, or like she can’t solve a math problem, or when she feels like her friends have abandoned her.

The tough stuff is talking to her about sex, and college, and teaching her to drive.

So yesterday, I honestly just felt lucky.  I didn’t feel like a pat on the back was necessary.  Instead, I felt like it was a day when I got to reflect on how insanely blessed I am, and how grateful I am to be the mother of Charlotte Amelia Sandoval.