What I wasn't prepared for was those moments when your heart absolutely stops while watching your toddler tumble down a flight of stairs to land full force head first into the wall. Or that pit in your stomach you get as you realize your oldest child has just sent the stroller containing your middle child flying. And said stroller flips forward resulting in the strapped in child landing on her face on the pavement with an entire stroller on top of her! Or the feeling of sheer panic when you are in public and suddenly realize you have NO IDEA where one of your children is and they don't come running when you call their name.
Equally horrifying is watching your child tip her entire chair over backwards and watching her head hit the tile floor...and discovering the crack in the tile after the crash! Trust me, my heart just about stopped when big sister climbed up onto my hospital bed by pushing up on her not even 24 hour old baby sister. My heart feels like it is in my throat each and everytime I see one of my kids face plant and stand up with a mouth full of blood as I wonder if they still have all their teeth intact.
A few weeks (months?!) ago I left Hannah playing happily in her what-I-assumed-to-be-baby-proof room while I rushed to take a much needed, long overdue shower. I emerged from the shower to discover Hannah had joined me in the bathroom. No biggie. I noticed she appeared to be chewing on something. So I placed my hand palm up below her chin and she promptly spit out this:
A light bulb. Just the glass part actually. The cracked glass part. And I had no idea where or how she had gotten it and then decided to gnaw on it!!! Thankfully, miraculously her mouth was unscathed. Not a single scratch. No blood drawn. You better believe my heart stopped when I realized my baby had been chewing on a glass bulb! And that pit in my stomach hung around all morning as I imagined how much worse that scenario could have played out!
All that to say, I completely believe that a mother's heart grows bigger with the birth of each child. With a greater capacity to love. A mother's love is not divided but multiplied. And I now believe a mother's heart also grows stronger. Better able to handle these heart stopping moments that her children present to her. Because let's be honest a mom can't be everywhere. She can't always protect her children. She won't always be able to catch them when they fall...literally and figuratively speaking. Thankfully babies and kids are amazingly sturdy and resilient too:)