I am a psychologist. I am a writer. I have a measure of success in both these areas. Sometimes I meet people to whom I seem particularly accomplished. Sometimes I meet people whose accomplishments overshadow mine. On each of these scales, my assessment rises and falls according to the other. I am one professional among many, striving for recognition in a field amongst many competing voices.

To my children, I am irrepaceable Yet I am also a mother. When I close the door of my home, there is no other mother. To my children, I am the only mother in the world, the only mother they will ever know. Here, in the eyes of my children, I am special, irreplacable, and utterly unique.

The die has been cast, and we have been destined for one another. No other's words will mean as much to them or imprint as deeply as mine.

When I pick up my children from school, it seems like I am just another mother waiting at pick-up time. At these moments, it is easy to dismiss what I am. Voices crowd my head, full of taunts and rebuke, chastising me that productive adults don't stand chatting outside school buildings when the sun is still high in the sky, and the workload is piling.

But I remain silent, unmovable in the face of their mockery- because I know a secret. To my children, there is only one mother standing outside the school building. There is only one Mother they search out, as they exit as part of a noisy, raging stampede. In their eyes, I am the only one worthy of answering to "Mommy."

I will never be able to account for these moments that I have spent being their Mommy. The time has flown into another dimension, and has not left behind even one annotation that can be amended to my resume.

Motherhood is not about doing, although there is much that mothers do. It is about being. I have allowed someone else to make me the center of their world, and to make them the center of mine. I have cradled this awesome responsibility, determined not to disappoint them, or betray their trust.

Motherhood is about being I am not always available. I am changeable, as is the next mother, subject to fluctuating moods and energy levels. I am inspired, as is the next writer, consumed by passion for my current project, and pressured by the approaching deadline. I am in session, as is the next psychologist, temporarily given over to another who holds my focus entirely.

Yet even when I am doing something that mothers do not normally do, I am still utterly and entirely a mother, the orbiting sun of the small universe of my children, temporarily concealed but about to make another rotation.

These daily rotations make up the rhythm of our days, a rhythm that is as soft as a cricket's song, and easiest heard at dusk, as the day winds to a close, and the bustle of my children is transformed into the even breathing of their sleep. They sleep securely, content in the knowledge that another day will come, and their mother will again be waiting to greet them.