Monday, May 12, 2008

on mothering

What an interesting life this is. I sit here, shaking my head and racking my brain (yep, I checked, that's the right word) trying to figure out where to begin.

Today I was emailing a friend, and sent it off mid-thought, because The Bookaneer Test skit was on Sesame Street.

Leader of Bookaneers (Tina Fey, in real life) What's a pirate's favorite letter?

Allen, of Mr. Hooper's Store, in his best pirate voice: R!

Pirate #1: No, that's an old joke.

Pirate #2: Now you're just buying into stereotypes.

Leader of Bookaneers: No, No, a pirate's favorite letter is F.

Pirate #1: Aye, that's right. Pirates love F-words.

It must just be my fondness for f-words myself, but I laugh out loud at that skit every time I see it. I look forward to SS reruns. I actually made my children stop playing and watch TV at the Strong Museum of Play because the Bookaneer Test was playing in the Sesame Street Theatre.

It is an interesting life.

I never would have appreciated Thinly Veiled Humour For Adults Masquerading As Humour For Children as much, if I didn't have children.

I never even thought that poop came in 8718791324658432 varieties before I had children, and I wouldn't have kept such scientific scatological records.

I would not have heard this sentence: That necklace really makes your jeans look better. What? Is that even possible?

I would still think my cats are cute, if I had no children.

Had I not been pregnant three times, I would have a significantly flatter stomach.

I would not understand that one, short syllable (ie. Mom) could be said 8718791324658432 ways, each in a different tone of voice, each meaning something different.

I would not believe that a person had the ability to say one, short syllable (ie. Mom) 8718791324658432 times in three minutes. I still have a hard time believing it, even having experienced it every day for the past four years.

I would not believe that a woman could forget what it feels like to be in labour if I hadn't done it myself. But even now, a year and a half since I had HB, if I watch a television show, and a woman is giving birth, my abdominal muscles clench and bear down with her. And it doesn't hurt, but I feel it.

I cannot imagine the grief of losing a child. I have tried to imagine what my life would be like if one of my babies wasn't in it...not because I want that, heavens no. I have friends who have lost babies, and when it has happened, I found myself wondering what I would be doing if I had no kids, or who I would be if I only had Olivia and not the boys. And the only thing my mind can find is a vast wasteland of emptiness. I would guess that description does not even register on the losing a child scale, but I do know that it causes me to thank God for my beautiful and healthy babes.

Before I had children, I thought I understood the sanctity of life. I thought I appreciated what my birth mother had done for me. I thought I appreciated my mom.

Before I had children, I didn't understand loving somebody so much I would kill or be killed for them. Now, I love me my Mister, but it had never occurred to me that any situation would arise in which I would be required to maim for him. It seems that Turning Mom has done crazy things to my brain. So don't screw with my kids, ya dig?

Before I had children, I had no idea what myveryown crying baby would do to me. I didn't know that a miserable, sweaty, feverish, teething babe would reduce me to the same miserable, sweaty, feverish, sobbing state. I didn't understand when people would talk about being 'up all night' with the sick baby. He's sick, he should be asleep, right? Yep... Or not. I would not have guessed that watching nurses try to put an IV into the hand of my 8 month-old would make me vomit. I didn't understand how scary anesthesia can be until my baby was put under. I didn't know how repulsive the phrase put under really is.

But before I had children, I didn't know what it feels like to have myveryown baby fall asleep on myveryown chest. I didn't know about first smiles or wet kisses or sweet potato raspberries. I didn't know a lap could be so comforting. I didn't know my husband would be 90 gazillion times more sexy with our babies hanging on to him.

It's true that I have never worked as hard at anything. It's true that I have never been more exhausted. But I have never experienced such... I don't even have a word for it.

Olivia just told me good night. I said, When you see me in the morning I will be much older than I am right now. I'll be the same number as Daddy. She said, You'll be the same, though, right? I laughed and said, I'll be so much the same I will probably wear these same clothes tomorrow. Her eyebrows wrinkled and she said, But you won't be sleeping in that necklace (the one that makes my jeans look good), will you?

Of course I won't. Because I don't sleep in my jeans. That's weird. And uncomfortable.

I had a wonderful Mother's Day. But I will let you in on a little secret: There's some Mother's Day going on every day of my life. And if that's not good news, I don't know what is.


  1. vanessa z mccormick13 May, 2008 10:53

    your kids get more beautiful with each new picture you post. It looks to me like Jack looks the most like his daddy. Miss O looks like you and HB is a perfect mix.

    Thanks for letting me see into your family through you blog and give my miss yous to the mister.


talk to me, people. because you know i get all giddy when you do.