Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it reveals parts of you that you'd rather keep hidden. Sometimes it makes you cry. Sometimes it really fucking pisses you off. Sometimes it makes you want to curl up in a ball begging for the noise to stop.
At least that is how it is for me.
Some moms I know take things in stride. For example, a mom down the street recently faced what we all face at some point...our child getting hurt. Like really hurt. I know I have. This mom, staring at the gash in her young son's head gushing blood, calmly observed, "Hmmm. We might want to get that looked at."
First of all...the blood. I would have first had to talk myself down off ledge just from the sight of so much blood. Then I'd have to put a bag over my head to get the oxygen thing going again. Then and only then would I have been able to deal with said crisis.
I am not a calm person. I can be calm. I can feel calm. But I am preternaturally disposed to...panic. Whether that is from how I was raised or just how I'm hardwired or a combination of the two, the fact is...that's me. And I've been pretty damn good at keeping that part of me in check.
Until I had kids.
I've been a mom for almost seven years now. Yes, I've learned some stuff. Like how to treat a fever. Like the importance of packing snacks for long car trips. Like hugs really can make everything better.
And I'm not as prone to bouts of self-doubt or control-freak madness borne of that panic...the panic of not knowing what the hell I'm doing. I do take things more in stride.
The key word there is more.
Then, there are the times, like this past weekend, when I still feel like I know nothing. Like I wish I had a manual for it all. Like I'm swimming in rough,open waters with no clue where I am going.Like I'm messing up this one chance to get it right and my kids are going to be messed up forever because I am..not...perfect.
But I guess that is the one thing I have learned over the past seven years. I will not always know what to do. And that's ok. I don't always have to have the absolute perfect, right solution. I am first and foremost, a human being. I am a human being trying to figure out this thing called life just like everyone else who has been given the gift of breath on this planet. And it's ok for my kids to see me as a human being that is trying to figure it all out...just like they are. Maybe it will even teach them not to be so hard on themselves (like their mama) because things are sometimes disappointing, confusing, messy...un-perfect.
I may have a few more years under my belt, but that really only means for certain that I can tie shoes faster, color in the lines better, and add subtract things in my head and not on my fingers, and know that things -- good and bad -- will pass.
So...today's Monday. The sun is out. I got lunches in backpacks. I brushed teeth and hair. I walked my oldest kid to the bus stop, hugged her tightly, kissed her goodbye and wished her a good day.
there's nothing quite as humbling as when you go in for the diaper sniff test with your baby (for those unschooled in the art of using your olfactory senses to detect a dirty diaper, that's when you lean into your baby's bottom, quickly inhale through your nose, and confirm whether there is in fact a dump in his pants) only to open up his diaper and find...nothing.
for a minute you stand there confused. and then it hits you. your baby has just farted directly in your face.
it was our middle child's 4th birthday party this past weekend and we decided to go balls-to-the-wall (god i love that expression) with a supehero-themed party extravaganza. we're talking pin spidey on the web, make your own superhero cape and mask, a kryptonite beanbag toss, and more. it took me two weeks of planning, shopping, crafting, gluing, cutting, drawing, and multiple trips to ac moore, which we all know is my absolute favorite place to shop.
the icing on the cake? the entire family, including sister and baby, dressed up like superheroes to celebrate our boy. i will never forget the look of wonder as i emerged from my bedroom dressed in my superhero slut-gear (hey, i tried to find the most g-rated one to buy and, the fact of the matter is, superhero ladies just don't wear much clothing.) my son and daughter started gleefully jumping up and down and yelling, "mama's supergirl! mama's supergirl!"
pretty soon, i was starting to feel pretty...super. i don't know if it was the stretch in the velvet top, the shine off the red and gold boots, or the sparkle off my little red skirt. whatever it was, i was feeling it. i pranced around, shaking what little momma gave me and working the pin the spidey on the web station like nobody's business.
i know my kid and all his friends had a blast at his party, but here's the dirty little secret i'll only tell you...i loved every second of it too. no bullshit, no sarcasm, no frontin' like i'm all that. i simply had a blast.
and, that's what it's all about isn't it, ladies and gents? it is so easily forgotten when you're in the business of molding, shaping, directing and disciplining young people (while getting little to no sleep) that this shit is fun.
like balls-to-the-wall fun.
happy birthday my jack. you are a one-of-a-kind, light-up-the-room, sweet, huggable, loving kid. and i had so much fun at your party. love, mama.