And here I am, ten months later. Ready to celebrate my first real Mothers day. And let me tell you, I've earned it. I've gone through the sleepless nights. I've gotten up around the clock and have been able to continue breastfeeding despite many challenges including avoiding near nipplectomy's more than once thanks to brand new teeth and a babe who wants to try them out. I've finally widdled down the once suitcase of things I thought I had to bring out with me anywhere, to a modest, large Mama purse. I've survived his first, and second injuries. I've made it through his first cold and the appearance of all six teeth. I've taken him to a public swimming pool and managed to keep him from getting plantars warts on his tongue from gulping so much of the disgusting water. I've fed him chicken, strawberries, and eggs with out him dying from anaphalictic shock. I've taught him to wave bye-bye and to play peek-a-boo with my, ah hem, his favourite bright green colander. I've made it past the "I-hate-the-car-and-will-scream-for-every-second-you-make-me-sit-in-here-until-you-drive-in-to-a-ditch" stage. I've become immune to the tantrum, and could care less if people stare at me while he cries. I also now have the strongest arms that can easily transform into a makeshift straight jacket when needed to subdue Captain Crazy Arms during a meltdown. I've been pissed, puked, snotted and shit on more times that I can count. And I've even got him to say Ma-Ma as his first word. I've earned my Mama stripes alright.
So I sat down to think, what do I really want for Mothers Day? What would make me feel special and valued and appreciated like the rockstar Mama I am? A pedicure would be nice because these feet aren't going to just exfoliate themselves. They look like I suffer from leprosy and keep catching on the bed sheets. It's probably time to do something about that. A nice dinner would be thoughtful. One that I didn't have to make, or clean up after, or occupy my small child during so I could actually enjoy it. Pretty flowers always look lovely on my dining room table. And nothing says, I love you and thank you for taking one for the team and destroying your body to make our perfectly wonderful happy genius son like a robin's egg blue box from Tiffany's. Or maybe something practical like a book, or a magazine about anything but parenting like the new Paulo Cohelo... with some actual free time to read it. How about a bath bomb from Lush, with a beautiful Italian Amarone... it doesn't even have to be vintage. New runners with flashy neon on them to make me want to run more? A new Lulu jacket, or wonder unders to perk up my mom bum? All excellent ideas, dammit, now I want to go shopping.
But then I start to think about what I really could use. You know, the practical stuff. An extra set of hands during the day to change the poopy diaper to avoid the inevitable poop-on-knuckle conundrum, as my child thrashes his body like he's in a mosh pit and tries to roll off the change table. Dishes that go into the dishwasher and magically put themselves away when clean. A fancy vacuum that can actually find all the rogue cheerios hiding around my house. A laundry fairy who does it all and puts it away, folded perfectly like in a store. Actually, forget the laundry... what I want is a sock elf whose sole source of happiness is finding all my socks and actually matching them, all seventy-two thousand variations of gawd damned black socks. Oh, how about a chef that comes to my house and has dinner ready for me every night and cleans up while me and my boys go out for a walk. Oooh, or someone who magically disposes of all the coffee cups I've been accumulating in my car. Even better, someone to clean out my pantry and organize it, oh yah... now we're talking. While you're at it, attack those junk drawers, I swear to God the dried up pens, pennies, and expired coupons grow at an exponential rate. Or how about some sleep. Some sweet, uninterrupted, I-don't-have-to-get-up-until-I-actually-want-to sleep.
Here's the thing. Material things are nice, but you open them up and then its done. Flowers die. Clothes get old. Jewelery gets saved for special occasions. A spa day comes and goes, and you're stressed again in three days. And as for the other crap? Well, I've got too much pride to pay someone to clean my house and quite frankly I'm too cheap to spend my money on something that I can do just fine (except the sock elf, I would pay some hard cash for a sock elf... I mean seriously how many pairs of black socks does a man need!?).
But what I really want .... is time. Chores out of the way. Adult responsibilities forgotten about. I just want time. Time to enjoy the short weekends I have with my husband and son. Time to put away the cell phones. Time to shut off the television. Time to reconnect. Life gets so busy. So much needs to get done. The grind of daily life becomes imprisoning, that it's hard to just stop and say, this can wait... and just take the time to be with each other.
I want time to play silly games together as a family. Time to go for a long walk. Time to stop looking at the clock, and just go where ever we please. Time to stop and watch the birds. Time to watch clouds go by, and see a plane flying over head. Time to teach our son what really matters. Us. Family. Each other.
I want time to reconnect with my husband. To laugh. To enjoy each others company with out having to bend over a thousand times to pick up a fallen toy, or fill up more cheerios on a high chair table. I want to be able to enjoy an entire meal without looking at the clock to make sure we're not overstepping into bath time. I want to have a conversation without being tugged on, and cried at. I want to not have my attention divided, just for a few hours to feel like a woman again. More than just a Mom. I want to enjoy the finer things, like a nice glass of wine and some baked brie while discussing something other than whether or not our son has pooped today.
I want time to myself. A day where no one needs anything from me. A day filled with complete peace and quiet. A day to just do nothing. Nothing at all.
But here's the thing, I won't get a day off. I never will again. The long of the short of it, I am my little boy's Mama. It's a twenty-four-seven kind of gig that I signed up for. Even when someone else is there to share the work, I am always the first choice. I am always the one the gets crawled to, or reached for. I am the first person to see him in the morning, and the last at bedtime. I am the person who gets the first words, and slobbery open mouth kisses. I am the one who teaches him patty-cake, and makes sure he eats his vegetables. I am the one who can end all melt-downs. I am the one he turns to when his world turns upside down. I am the reason he has grown into a healthy and strong little boy. When I walk out of a room, he cries because he just wants me there. I am his number one. I can make everything better, just by being me. It doesn't matter what I look like, or how I feel, or if I got all the chores done, or if we had a seven course meal for dinner or just grilled cheese sandwiches, or if I have ten more pounds to lose...I am the best. The number one Mom. Just by being me. Talk about feeling important.
So maybe Mothers Day is just a day that I sit and enjoy my family. Enjoy the amazing gift of getting to be my little dude's Mom. Reconnect with what really matters. Just be thankful for the three of us and appreciate our time together.
But then again... a thoughtful card, and a nice bottle of Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc never hurt anyone either.
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