Hello dear mothers and kids – this post is for you. For everybody who has ever had or wanted to have a kid or ever came into this world from somebody’s belly or a petri dish or any other place for that matter.
It’s my 3rd Mother’s Day, and an important one for me because I have 2 little beans to celebrate this year. My little Lenny (at left) was born around this time last year. In fact one year ago today I was quite big, quite sick with Bronchitis, and I had something very sharp jammed into my left rib. I was terrified of the upcoming labour this time around and felt unprepared.
I was trying to imagine how life would be with two little nutbars in my life, especially now that Moon and Sparrow was getting busier. But I was also dying to see his face and couldn’t wait to meet him. (Now I can’t imagine ever not knowing this little face. His soft foldy fortune-cookie ears. His raspy voice and the way he always yells DOD-GEEE!”)
When I think about motherhood in the large sense, in the sense of what it means to me, I think about the beliefs I want to instill in my children.
Though I don’t usually have time to stop and realize who it is I hope to be creating, I recognize the immense, ocean-humungoid love that is ever present under the chaos; it is bigger than all the goddam lego in my heels and the public tantrums and the trying to get everybody to bed. It is always there, this unwavering tenderness and aching mom-love for these little creatures. Even when I haven’t slept a wink and my left arm stings with tendonitis and I have an ulcer from anxiety and all I can do is watch the clock literally counting the moments til I get a break from my kids and my house… there is this love that covers the whole experience with an “it’s okay!”-ness that makes me so sure I’m doing something awesome, something I want to be doing.
The mom-love… I have it with my own mom, and I saw she had it with hers. And for all the tough work that comes with being a mother, I feel so lucky to be able to be a mom and have all the unique experiences that come with it.
I realized with 2 kids that motherhood was harder than I thought, and that there are aspects of it that I’m really bad at. It’s a blow to your ego, parenting, because it’s really tough work with no real assurance that you’re doing a good job. Some days your ugliest self rears its head and the frustration you feel can have you throwing tantrums that put your 2 year old to shame. But there are these moments, these blissed out moments where you just get it. Not just parenthood – but life, and the universe and the reason why we’re here.
Like when I look at this:
And I think, “Holy Shit! I made this little dude, wearing his turtle-patterned hat, and his pink sandals!” I look at him washing his red wagon in the alley, happy as a clam. With ME. His mom. And I know that what I have with my kids is pure magic.
And I look at this:
and think, “Are you freaking KIDDING ME?! I made this little girl who now has a rock collection, and a zebra mask, who can draw a fucking PICTURE OF ME!”
How did that happen so fast?! How am I capable of such miracles? I have managed to lose every pair of pants I own, except for one pair, in my own house, and today, while ordering a Frappuccino I found a piece of cheddar cheese stuck to the underside of my chin. Yet I have created 2 little human beings that I love hanging out with. And they actually love me!
I made a kid who believes that princesses get totally dirty and wear ladybug helmets.
I made this happy boy! He is always surrounded by people that make him feel so good that he literally glows with joy. (*By the way, while I was taking this photo, his sister had wandered 2 feet away from our park picnic and was taking a poop right beside the blanket. A great example of how a parenting bliss-moment can turn into a poop-dilemma in the blink of an eye.)
I think of my own mom, and how she’s raised us to be the funny, empathetic people my brother and I are. How she must look at us and think “How has time passed so quickly!?” And she did a lot of it on her own, without my dad doing his part. She had much less support than we do. She didn’t have blogs, or Baby Center. And as far as she can recall, they didn’t even have DOUBLE STROLLERS back then. (HUH? Can anybody confirm this for me?! How did people take babies out?) But she did it, twice, and recalls it as easy and fun and nothing else, God love her. And I probably don’t say thank you enough, and our phone calls are always cut short by someone tugging on my arm, or taking my boob out of my shirt (nope – not my hubby, sadly) or by a meal that needs to be prepared / put away / wiped up.
All this to say, MOMS ARE THE BOMB. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! To my mom. And to my friends, some who seem to have it so together, and to the rest of us who flail about gracelessly but still get shit done. I feel like I belong to the best club ever, full of tough-ass women who know how to love.
Happy Mother’s Day people! xoxoxo