“I’m gonna be a firefighter when I grow up,” you proudly announced through a mouthful of Captain Crunch this morning.  “What do YOU wanna be, Mommy?”

I paused for a second.

If you had asked me that same question years ago, little one, my answers would have impressed you.

I would have told you I wanted to be a professional soccer player, or an actress, or a surgeon. I would have said I wanted to move east to New York City or west to the California coast. 

Yet here I am, and none of those things have happened. Not one.

Sometimes I think of the dreams I’ve left behind and feel a little disappointed in myself. I get sucked into the belief that this life I’m living as a mom is small. Insignificant, even. Because who wants to grow up to wipe bums and clean chocolate milk off of the couch? Where’s the glory in that?

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But then you tell me I’m your best friend in the whole wide world. 

Or your eyes light up when I come into the room.

Or you do something that makes me so proud I think my heart’s going to burst right out of my chest . . .

I’m reminded—being your mom isn’t small.

Being your mom is more than I ever could have dreamed.

I may never walk up on stage and be handed a trophy, but I have sat in a delivery room bed while a seven-pound, seven-ounce gift was placed in my arms.

My name isn’t well-known, but I’m the only one who will ever know the honor of you calling me mommy. 

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I won’t be a doctor who saves countless lives, but I will be the biggest influence in yours.

I’ll probably never have a huge bank account, but I’ll gladly put my last quarter in the mechanical horse at the grocery store if it makes you smile.

I may never accomplish anything grand enough to impress the masses, but I have something even better.

I have you.

You are my proudest moment, my biggest success, my greatest contribution to this world.

When you asked me that question at breakfast, it brought everything into perspective.

I looked around the kitchen at the dishes piled in the sink. The toys scattered on the floor. The artwork on the refrigerator.

And then I looked at you—my whole world.

This, honey. I just want to be your mom when I grow up.” And I meant it.

I am your mommy, and there’s nothing in this life that could ever make me more proud.

If this tugged your heartstrings like it tugged ours, check out the book Love You Forever. You might want to grab a tissue first, though.

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Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward