Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Of course I'm a good Mom, the kids are still alive aren't they?

     Bug suddenly has three words! Three very loud words.

     "WOW!" is accompanied by balled up fists, or she bends over and points with both hands toward something or someone to accentuate the whole situation. "Wow" basically covers everything, but is used in a way that suggests she is proud of something, or herself.

    "That." or "This" is what you always hear when she points to something. "That" can be a question, as in 'what is THAT?' or a statement, as in, 'I want THIS'. Her favorite past time? To point at every single thing around her and say, "THAT." And then we tell her what 'That' or 'This' is. ALL. DAY. LONG.

     It's pretty adorable.

     Yesterday she was walking around the room, screeching like a pterodactyl, yelling at her toys and at us, and exclaiming "WOW!" at the tippy top of her lungs. She lectured her toys and her family while waving her arms around for emphasis. I looked it up, and learned that people who talk with their hands are natural leaders. Not surprising. She bosses all of us around constantly and we totally bend to her demands. The other night, Husband admitted it. "I'm powerless, dude. She's got me." Then he explained how if she is trying to go play with the light socket (as she sometimes does), he is the A-hole that will shut the electricity off in the whole house so she can have her way. Of course he's kidding. But on the real.....he's right. He's screwed.

     Even my Mom, who has been doing way better this week, just does whatever she says. Mom's legs and feet ALWAYS hurt, like, she describes the pain as 8 on a good day, but she walks that baby girl around the kitchen island for MILES. The kid is powerful.

     This visit with Mom has caused me to think a lot about Motherhood.

     I love my kids. They are really good, fun people. Having them was my hope and dream from the time I was little. But they are not my only source of joy, or the only reason I get up in the morning. I feel lucky to be their Mother, but Motherhood is a transitional affair. I am a Mother, and I am also a wife, friend, sister, seamstress, crafter, skater, and lots of other things. I love life and there are so many things I still want to experience. Motherhood is one of them, but it is not the only thing that makes me who I am, and it is certainly not the only thing I'm good for. While it is still my job to take care of them, I will do the very best I can, and appreciate every minute of it. And I will not be useless or empty when my kids leave the house. I will be proud of all of us for getting to that point. I will be in my next step of life. To me, that's really cool. It's like graduating. To look back on it and feel empty because it's over is stupid. A Mom is not the only thing I am, and I intend to keep it that way.

     In the kid's early years, I might as well be the sun to them. They cannot exist without me. When they are adults, I will (hopefully) be a cherished member of their lives who they will enjoy sharing their new families with. Our relationship will change. I want it to change. I want them to honor our journey together by taking what they have learned from me and be their own people, and I want to watch them grow and change and learn and have their own lives. I want to be proud of whoever they become, and while I will remember their childhood fondly, I will revel in the state of adulthood and wisdom they come to as the years move on.

     I had my kids on purpose. I did not have them so that I would have someone to love me. I didn't have them so that I'd have people to care for me when I'm old. They are not my accessories, or my ticket into the Mommy social scene, or just more humans that will carry on the family name. I had them because I wanted to be part of their lives, while experiencing the challenges and sacrifice of motherhood. I wanted there to be more good people in the world. I wanted to raise children that would never be hurt or left alone. I wanted to do better than my parents, and their parents before them. Maybe that's where my own selfishness comes in. I wanted to be a Mommy. I wanted to experience what everyone, including my own Mom said was so wonderful and amazing, and I wanted to be good at it. I think that's okay.

     Watching my son grow into a man is exciting and difficult. My instinct is to protect him, so allowing him to fail in order to learn hurts. It's a constant task to remind myself that he needs to learn by experience. Sometimes my heart aches for him as I watch him suffer through something. But I know it's good for him, and seeing him understand it later is more rewarding than I ever imagined it would be. I have made mistakes with him though. I was too protective in some places while not protective enough in others. My personal choices, good and bad, have shaped who he is because as my child, he has experienced my struggles and triumphs right along with me. The way HE has experienced MY life will affect him forever. So far, he really likes who he is, though, thankfully.

     "Mom of the year" is a joke in our house that the guys and I use to 'lovingly' point out my mistakes, questionable acts or words. I refer to myself as "Mom of the year" sometimes too. Dude, I'm going to fuck up, even with all the best intentions. And I'm going to say whatever needs to be said, even if it makes the boy cringe. I am also going to pour myself a drink with the baby on my hip. And like I tell Gage, it's fine because I'll pay for their therapy later. :)

     Getting to know myself is a lifelong thing. I've learned from watching other people that taking on your career or your station in life as your identity is a harmful thing. What happens when you aren't a nurse or a wife anymore, are you NOTHING? Fuck no! So I am always checking in with myself to remember who I am, and who I am is constantly changing. At least, I want it to. These last few weeks have changed me yet again. And here starts another adventure.



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