when i had my first baby, a friend asked me what motherhood was like. i said to him, ‘it’s like you’re so full of this overwhelming love and yet, all you can think about now is death and doing things wrong.’ dramatic much? yes. but then, at that point, i probably hadn’t showered in three days or changed out of yoga pants and was no longer having cohesive thoughts.
my kids don’t like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. nobody even told me that was a possibility.
yesterday we sat outside in the sunshine, reading a book about planet earth. we have fun, we laugh, daughter screams when a bug lands on her. i think to myself, ‘i am going to miss this.’
my son’s current joke, the one that can get me laughing so hard, even though it makes no sense: ‘it’s just 7. always gonna be 7.’ the way he says it shows the humor of my family. the way he says it to make me laugh, shows he knows how to get to my mother-heart.
little arguments come and go. ‘mom! he is on my swing!’
‘i am not the referee,’ i say.
‘mom, there’s nothing to do!!!”
‘i am not the entertainment director on this cruise ship.’
‘please eat some protein… bread does not count as a lunch,’ i remind her when lunchtime rolls around. trying to lead in ways that are healthy for them physically, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, all while struggling to continue to learn these parameters for my own life.
i talk to my fourteen year old about her new obsession with the show, Lost. we discuss our favorite characters. i am having an intelligent conversation with a child of mine. until you raise a child, you have no idea how distant this seemed to you when the kids are toddlers and you’re running around, chasing them, cleaning up throw up and messes and diaper rash cream spread all over his new outfit and you haven’t had your own thought for what seems like years.
it’s not all good:
there is a discussion about doing chores, a discussion about maybe chores should be done now, a discussion about chores really super really much need to be done now.
you’re rarely (if ever…wait, maybe never) making a decision just for yourself. you can’t go out to eat without first making dinner for them. a certain level of selflessness is constantly called for. trust me, this does not always come easily for me.
oldest daughter ends up with a migraine and i get texts about it while i’m away from home, rehearsing music at church for mother’s day service. the irony does not escape me. mother guilt kicks in, ‘how could i be gone practicing music for mother’s day when she needs me?’
i get her a strawberry shake on the way home.
sometimes i get mad. my quick temper shows itself in yelling and lecturing. sometimes, i even slam a door for emphasis. i apologize later. or sometimes i don’t because i think to myself, you people drove me to it. your constant questions, your nagging, ‘sometimes,’ i say to them, ‘it feels like you have a fork in your hand and you are poking me in the eyeball. stop!’ it’s not all sunshine and rainbows and unicorns singing fairytale happy songs.
it is my favorite when my teenager says, mom, you’re awesome.
when my younger daughter comes bubbling into the room with her latest purchase, telling me every single fact about a show she likes, or just hanging around me when we are outside.
when my son, his ten year old little boy self, sits right next to me on the couch, his socks hanging off his feet, as he reads me the latest lego magazine. don’t tell him i told you, but he still lets me hold his hand occasionally.