Tell me mama, when does it end?

The sleepless nights nursing, the mornings that begin at dawn, the late hours up worrying.

Tell me mama, when does it end?

The crumbs sandwiched between the couch cushions, the water splashed out of the sink, the food found under the pillow.

Tell me mama, when does it end?

The tantrums, the crocodile tears, the screaming when something goes awry.

Tell me mama, when does it end?

The washing of socks, the scrubbing of plastic forks, the laundering of sheets that were covered in vomit from that last stomach bug.

Tell me mama, when does it end?

The afternoons when the toddler won’t nap, the baby just wants to be held, and the oldest had a rough day at school.

I know it will, someday. Someday they won’t need me in quite the same way, but I will still need them.

Tell me mama, when does it end?

The giggles that are stifled under the covers as the older two talk late at night, the big belly laughs from the toddler after Daddy tickled her, the sweet coo from the infant.

Tell me mama, when does it end?

The sheer delight of tasting chocolate cake for the first time, the milk-drunk baby falling asleep on you, the toddler “helping” bake cookies.

Tell me mama, when does it end?

The wonder in her eyes when she sees something new, the joy that comes from seeing Grammy, the happiness that comes from picking a flower.

Tell me mama, when does it end?

The sweet sound of her singing while she plays, the sound of him racing his car around the table top, the yells coming from the back yard.

Tell me mama, when does it end?

The way they look at you, like you’re the most important person in the world to them, the sticky kisses, the bear hugs, the sweetness as they bury their head in your neck.

Tell me mama, when does it end?

How long do I have?

Please tell me mama, when does it end?

Because I don’t want it to.

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Amy Gray

Amy Gray is a twenty-something heart mom, who lives somewhere on the East coast, with her husband, and almost two children.  You can find her chasing a toddler, making yet another trip to the craft store, or pushing that load of laundry off to the side.