My mother always said (about pretty much anything) "You won't understand until you have children of your own." I'd roll my eyes, like, okay mom, what-ever, and shrug it off. But when the Doodle was born, I called her up first thing and said, "You are so right."
Motherhood is, all at once, breathtaking. Your joy, your frustration, your fear, your elation ... it truly does take your breath away. It makes you look at your own mother with awe, thinking, "How did she do it?" At the same time, you look at yourself and wondering, "How am I going to do this?" Then you look to other moms and tell them, "You can do it."
Among my circle of friends, I have many who are mothers. This week, one of them became a mother for the third time around (Three boys! Instant sainthood.) One of them got the news of a baby on the way. Another shed a tear of pride as her daughter embarked on an adventure. And one of them wept in sorrow for a son gone too soon.
You just can't get it. Until you're a mother. Then it makes all the sense in the world.