Sunday, May 8, 2011

Macaroni Necklaces and Gray Hairs

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.  Today is the day I have had the opportunity to reflect back on my time as a mother.

Sometimes I can't help but reflect on all the things I wish I had done differently. Motherhood has driven me to drink, swear, and think horrible things I never thought I would ever think. I have cried more tears than I ever thought possible, and I have gotten so angry, I thought I would never forgive. I have said things that I wanted to take back immediately, I have sunk to new lows more times than I can count.

Yet, these two amazing creatures still love me.

They have given me more macaroni necklaces and gray hairs that I care to count.  My "treasure" box at the top of my closet is filled to overflowing, with mountains of handmade cards, funny stories, ludicrous poems, and, horrific notes when they were angry-I saved them all. I have more glass figurines, dime store stuffed animals, hand-painted oven mitts and decoupage pictures than I can shake a stick at.  All because I made love to a wonderful man, and bore his children.

Motherhood has also caused me to love until I think my heart will break, to worry until I think my head will explode, and to fill with pride until I think my smile can't grow any wider, tears of joy couldn't grow any fatter.  And, I truly worried that I would not have enough love for another child (Don't we all secretly worry about this?), then, POW. My heart grew enough for another, and then some. I had never before ever imagined being a mother could be so wonderfully filled with bliss.

Sometimes, I reflect in motherhood in general. Being a mother is a roller-coaster of emotions:  I can't wait to see their next accomplishments, their next tasks, to guide them through their next challenge. But, I am also dreading the emotional upheaval when they move on to adulthood-how will I live without Princess's early morning snuggles, and artistic cards that come home almost weekly? What will I do when Monkey Boy stops loving me the most?  Will I accept it with grace?  Will I need extra therapy?  What if I didn't do enough? What if I did too much?

Today, though, I get to focus on the pancakes with fresh fruit, served to me in my wonderfully comfy bed:

I get to relish in the cup of coffee, strong enough to make me feel energized; hot enough to cut the chill creeping in from the slider left open all night. I get to look down as I type, and admire the manicure my daughter gave me yesterday:

 (Her new favorite color is black, these days.  usually, I want to take my time to get dressed in my best, wear my favorite clothing, take extra care.  Yet, this manicure makes me feel more beautiful than any Frye boots could)

I had a wonderful mother to learn from.  She was my friend so many times (she still is).  She was an amazing bitch when she should have been.  She let me make mistakes, and she gave me enough rope to hang myself a few times.  I now know how hard that is. She reigned me in, punished me, guided me, shed tears for me.  She watched me walk out into the world on my own with a smile on her face.  (I now know that her heart was breaking just a little inside.) And, I have spent the last twelve years trying to duplicate it all.  I have improved in some areas, fallen short in others.  In the end, though, I know I have done my best.

Today, I will wear my fresh manicure with pride, smears and all.  I will put on my glass beaded bracelet from MB three years ago. I will wear the necklace from Sky King, taped inside a card, ten years ago.

I hope you all look down sometime today, and see those stretch marks in a different light.

In my case, I hope it's dim.  VERY dim.

1 comment:

  1. This was such a great post, but my favorite part? The paragraph about your mom, especially, "she was an amazing bitch when she should have been." The hardest and most essential part of mother hood in one pithy, profane sentence. Stinkin' beautiful.