Sunday, May 11, 2008
Missing Mom, Being a Mom
Mothers Day is always a bit of a drag (to quote Cookie Monster, Mothers Day makes me feel "slightly lachrymose"). My mom died a couple of weeks after Mothers Day seven years ago and ever since, Mothers Day reminds me that my mom is no longer living. The only upside to Mothers Day is that I do take some small comfort in the fact that the Mothers Day before my mom died I actually did remember to send her some gifts in the mail and a note telling her how much I loved and appreciated her. So while I did not get to be at the hospital when she unexpectedly and quite suddenly died, at least she knew that I loved her.
Enough of that maudlin vein. I only mention it so that you know that I'm not a big fan of Mothers Day. I'm also known for a generally grouchy attitude towards any and all holidays that can be thought of as Hallmark-type holidays (Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Valentines Day, Bosses Day, Secretaries Day, etc.).
This year is my third Mothers Day as an actual mother, and only my first Mothers Day as a mother of two girls. For whatever reason, I found myself thinking more about what it means to me to be a mother at this point in my life as a mom. I used to be annoyed by people who defined themselves as mothers (I know, I am a total sh*t, what can I say - I am a cold hearted snake). I got in an argument once with Mitch about whether I would ever define myself as a mom. I guess I feel like I have been myself for 35 years, why would I suddenly become a different person after having a baby? Of course, the reality is somewhat more complicated.
I love being a mom. It is the hardest thing ever but also the most fun. I can't believe how many times a day either Lucy or Josie does something totally charming that cracks me up. There are also a fair number of moments when Lucy makes me absolutely INSANE. So what is this mother thing all about for me? I can't bore everyone with a long rambling essay so instead I'll try another list.
List #32.6 Some Things About Being A Mom
14. Babies do actually come out of your vagina. As horrifying as this seems, it also pretty much sucks in reality.
13. Something about your own babies little alien appearance really does make a person want to cut off their own limbs for their offspring if necessary.
12. I frequently find myself staring at Lucy and thinking, "What ARE you going to be like at 30?"
11. There is something grounding about being confronted with your own best and worst quirks in an entirely new configuration on a regular basis.
10. After cuddling with Josie and thinking about how she is our last baby, I now have a better understanding of perhaps one reason why people have lots of kids.
9. By the end of the day, I am so tired I can barely spell my own name, let alone think about going jogging or doing yoga.
8. One of the bummers about being a mom is that it takes up a LOT of time. While I enjoy the time I spend with the girls immensely, between working full-time and hanging out with the girls, there's not much time left over for reading books, writing novels, or much else. Yes, I am whining. Poor me. Not enough time for me.
7. I often find myself looking at the girls and thinking, "I will be dead and you will still be alive." This is pretty much the only context in which I don't feel like vomiting when I think about my own death (yes, I would still rather live forever, but barring that, I definitely want my kids to outlive me).
6. They are so freaking cute. I am biased, but other people think so too. So they make pretty good accessories. Although even their cuteness probably doesn't overcome my own unwashed, no hairstyle, unfashionable self.
5. Being with the girls, and thinking about being a mom, is a new and meaningful connection to my own mom. I think about all the cool stuff she did and what a great example she was to us in so many ways. I also think about the ways that I don't want to be like her (too much yelling!).
4. It is hard not to swear. I must work harder to eliminate shit and crap from my vocabulary. Lucy said she had to bring all her crap with her the other day. I wonder where she got that...
3. It is amazing to be able to make someone else feel so much better, to be so comforting to another person. Even Mitch doesn't like me in that way.
2. Do you think it is possible that nothing bad could ever happen to the girls? That would really be for the best. It is going to kill me when people are mean to them or they get physically or mentally injured...
1. Ch-ch-changes. They are changing all the time. And as a result, I am changing all the time. With them I feel like life really is a river and we are all moving, moving, moving and who knows what will be around the next bend? Cheezy and cliched perhaps, but true.