Saturday, May 10, 2014

“Giving birth is little more than a set of muscular contractions granting passage of a child. Then the mother is born.”

Happy Mother’s Day! Do we actually believe that we get a day, all to ourselves, with nothing to do but bask in the sun, with our perfectly manicured nails, toned skin, and stretch-mark free tummies? WE ARE LYING TO OURSELVES! We get a nano-second in the lives of these little people that rely so much on us for everything. We are always on whine duty…Don’t get me wrong…I wouldn’t have it any other way! My life IS my life with the kids. They are the first things I think about every morning and the last people I text at night (because they don’t answer their phones for their own mother). I remember when Hannah was little I said that I would tell her ‘I love you’ every night, for the rest of her life. I would snuggle her into bed (my bed for 9 years), and kiss her on the same spot on her tiny little head. I continued this tradition with Ashley and Parker. Moms do this! Dad do this, too, but today is Mother’s Day and can you guys just wait one more month and I’ll write about you, too! From the moment they were born I can remember every detail about them. Hannah had a full head of hair…Ashley looked so sweet and tiny…Parker’s feet were gynormous…these were my first thoughts of these children who now rule my world. Moms have these gifts that no one can take away from them…the love at first sight shit that you hear about is real! Moms know this! And then the ride is a crazy one. My mom used to say, “You’re driving me to drink!”. I get it, mom!!! All moms get it. I am actually surprised that they are alive and that I didn’t kill them. I can’t even keep a houseplant alive, for Christ’s sake. I came close many a time. I rolled up Parker’s head in the window. I made them eat hot sauce when they were bad. I resorted to dish soap when they started to like the hot sauce, only to abandon it when my crying child blew soap bubbles and I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. And then there’s the ‘death grip’ they would receive (and every mother knows about the death grip, and if they say they don’t, then they are lying). But they lived… and they loved…. So much so that I would vacuum with one on my back carrier and one on my hip. I woke up with feet in my face. I went to bed with bottles of milk behind my pillow so that I wouldn’t have to walk to the kitchen when they woke up at night. My oldest didn’t sleep through the night until she was 5! It was an all nighter every night, and not the fun kind. We all know this! We all have had those moments where you just feel like you have on a suit of Velcro and they are just stuck to you. And they are fighting over who gets to sit by mom in the car, restaurant, plane. And you find yourself reading books to them as they poop on the potty. And the bathtub rituals end with bubbles everywhere and an empty tub of toys. And the nights are filled with putting the house back together, somehow, from toys to socks to crayons. And you tip toe around the bedroom like a stealth bank robber afraid to set off the alarm just so you can have an hour to yourself. Then you wake up from your mommy coma and they have gone from your bed to their bed, to down the street, to across the town. The shitheads grow up without even realizing it. Your days become consumed with being on the sidelines watching them grow up, whether it is on a football field, horse show, or an email account. You watch them make friends and find love. You watch them drive away and you say your prayers for them to “please be safe”. Your sleepless nights you had when they were babies become sleepless nights that you have until they are home from a night out with friends.  You teach love and caring only to watch some boy or girl break their heart…and there is no princess band aid that you can put on this one! Your kisses goodnight become a “goodnight, I love you “ text from your house to their dorm (preferably using emojis)...You go on their social media so you can see what they are doing; how they are feeling; and maybe a smiling selfie to assure you that they are happy. You did it!!! You survived step one! Yup, step one!!!!! Now what? Who knows? No one knows. No one knows anything about how to do this job that encompasses our hearts and fills our world. We figure it out as we go along. All moms figure it out as we go. No one knows what kind of kid they are going to get. Will they be good, bad, have addictions, depression,; be bullies or get bullied; have ambition or not. You just don’t know, so you take it day by day until you figure out what to do on THAT day. One thing is for sure and that is that we all want the same thing: happiness for our child. When asked what I wanted for Mother’s Day I wanted to yell, “Pills, a stiff drink, anything to get me away”, but in actuality all moms really want is to see them smile. That’s it! SO, Happy Mother’s Day to all the different types of moms out there and whatever kind of kids you are raising: the mothers of the Nairobi girls who can’t be found; the parents who lost a child for whatever reason, whether physically or emotionally; the mothers of leaders and of the losers; the physically challenged or the physically fit; the depressed or the hyper; the sinners or the saints. We don’t know what we are getting, so be patient with yourselves,,,and with them, too! In the end all we want is to see them smile…

“MMMMOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM” gotta go, someone needs me….

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