Being a mom feels like promise. Of do-overs for childhood slights and a chance to right the injustice of times you were misunderstood in your own youth. This tiny human holds your smile above all else. When you see him – really see him – you are sun on his face. And that’s when you’re truly seen, too. It’s when the sun shines on yours.
Being a mom also feels like worry and letting go and grieving the passing of mundane and spectacular moments as they’re not yet over.
It’s tired and tiring and repetitive. It’s trying to keep Lego sets together with specific instructions once they’ve been built, partially disassembled, and mixed with bricks from another set. It feels impossible, random, and occasionally boring.
It feels like wonder as you marvel over the miracle of nature and translucent fingernails on a tiny hand curled around your finger.
Sometimes, being a mom feels like you’ve lost yourself.
Sometimes, being a mom feels like you’ve met your better self.
Being a mom means that when he’s tiny, you’re the only person in the world who knows what he needs to soothe himself back to sleep.
Sadly and wondrously, what he needs is usually your boob.
Being a mom means that one night, you crawl into bed with a kink in your neck after falling asleep breastfeeding him in the chair.
You turn, flip your pillow to the cool side, and he’s now five-years-old.
He’s five, and standing next to you. There’s no time to wonder where the crib went. You notice the pillow is still cool from when you flipped it over a minute ago. Four years ago.
“A bee in my room,” he says. “Need you.”
Being a mom means going to his room at 3am, capturing an invisible bee, opening the window, and setting it free.
You lie down next to the baby whose legs now reach your knees and tell yourself to remember this.
It’s remembering the book The Little Prince and that a drawing that looks like a hat is actually a boa constrictor who swallowed an elephant. It means looking for the proverbial eye of the snake in your son’s drawings.
You study barbarian pencil sketches and marvel over the drawn details of chest plates. You know that barbaerwein is barbarian. That his weapons are fierce and those of your son’s powerful ancestors made of Vikings and nomads and far-away tribes. That his name is, too.
Sometimes, it feels like you don’t know what you’re doing.
“Is he sleeping enough?”
You worry more about his sleep than yours, for a while. But maybe, on Mother’s Day, if what you need is sleep, or to just be alone, you might ask for it.
It means that 90 minutes is a lifetime.
Being a mom means you know the look on his face when he’s been caught doing something he’s not supposed to be doing. You know his looks of worry, of shyness, of excitement.
You know the glint of mischief and penis jokes.
Being a mom means that for now at least, you know him best. And somehow, you know yourself better, too, even as you sigh over packing a lunch while swallowing annoyance that he hasn’t yet brushed his teeth even though you told him to 1,001 times in the last five minutes.
It means crying in the hallway at school when his speech therapist says “go show your mom,” and he sounds out a letter you never thought you’d hear.
It means bribery and lying when he asks you for something you gave away because he hasn’t played with it in two years but suddenly wants it after the donation truck came two days ago.
It means believing in afterlife, even though you’re not really sure at all, because not believing is like falling off a cliff and never landing.
It’s saying “It’s time to sleep” while barely hanging on to sanity with white knuckles and the kind of annoyance that threatens sanity.
It’s whispering “Good Night” while feeling love so light and so heavy that you’re lifted up while falling through generations.
It’s thanking and reeling of the randomness of YourChild. Of the exact combination of DNA, stardust, hope, and ancestors that made your son. It’s feeling that he’s of you and of something undiscovered and beyond imagination.
Being a mom feels like holding a rising star.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mamas out there, to all of the papas and grandparents and fosters and everybody else who love and raise the people of our future. May your day be full of unexpected greatness, wonder, and the smile of a child, whether he’s a baby, a parent, neither, or somewhere between.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence, in honor of our upcoming Mother’s Day in the US is “Oh, Mother…”
Your co-host (and this week’s sentence prompter) is Lisa from The Meaning of Me. She’s amazing.