Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Today I've been a mom for 14 years

I read a lovely Facebook post recently dedicated to Mothers Day.  Such an un-Kristi-like kind of lovely that it made me feel left out of the lovely mothers club.  It was a gal remembering her birth experience by visiting her midwife, re-living the moments together at her private birthing center..... and following a trail of memories in the form of baby footprints  - left somewhere by someone who had enough calm and wherewithal to put ink on a baby foot and stamp it on a wall for posterity.  

I also saw a book at the library not too long ago about designing a beautiful birth plan.  And I almost checked it out to see what I missed out on.   Or at least what the heck it was all about.... because I can't imagine.  I've done it -  birth - 3 times - each unique - and each without a written plan.  And each delivering me a beautiful baby.  But not a single experience counted as peaceful and beautiful by my definition anyway.  (And would I do it all again?  Absolutely.)
  Kid 1 surprised us by coming 5 1/2 weeks early.  And I was so upset and scared that I remember his birth mostly through a highly sedated haze.  It was either that or hit me over the head with a hammer.  So we went with medication.  Don't be offended.  And husband says the kid arrived in our lives with a  shockingly misshapen head, and loves to tell the story of how quickly he put a cap on him to save me from fear and/or heartbreak.  

Kid 2 came minutes shy of being born in our car.  And my biggest memory of that particular one was telling the doctor that hell no... I don't want to wait for my husband to get here and share the experience.  Let him park the car and meet his kid later. 

And kid 3 almost killed me.  With too much epidural medicine coursing through my body - enough to shut down all my important functions - like breathing and heart beat - I was saved by some quick thinking and well prepared medical staff.  Hallelujah. 

So as I remember their births and consider becoming a mom - those are memories that will forever be with  me.  But I think of becoming a mom more, really, when I started sharing my life with my boys each day.  For me, the mothering is in the days shared, the years passed, the lessons learned and taught.   

So I let Mothers Day pass without any blog acknowledgement.  Maybe because I couldn't say it right - yet.  Then one day our power went out in a hellacious storm ... and I thought I might have to write like Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie fame - by candlelight and home spun wisdom - and it all made sense...

THAT, right there,... the rolling along just fine, all good and normal, and suddenly the lights go out.  That's real mothering.  Kinda like when we moms think we have this parenting thing all figured out -  but the baby changes his mind and the agreed upon plan.  The whole she's got the house all organized and daily dinner on the table by 5 - till the kids all of a sudden turn into busy bodies and we're eating a poptart on the way to karate class.  

It's the orthodontics, the skinned knees and broken arms.  The book reading and kisses goodnight and the first days of school.  It's the joys of new beginnings and listening to disappointments.  It's the day to day togetherness and growing together that builds a family and makes a person a parent for a lifetime.  Birth or however you arrived at loving your child.   

It's the closeness and the willingness to let go.  And I have to pray for the strength to do that every day.  And at the end of each day I guess I should ask myself if I did anything at all good in pointing these boys in the right direction. 

Today I've been a mom for 14 years.  Happy birthday, my sweet Ethan.  And at first, I felt kinda' left out of his birthday hoopla.  Because there just wasn't any hoopla this time around.  No party, no pretty wrapped presents, no special plans or wishes - just a request for waffles for breakfast.  And a new hat to take to camp this week.   

But after the day together doing not much of anything out of the ordinary or special to mark the occasion - it makes pretty good sense to me that way after all.  None of us want to be celebrated on just one day.  Maybe it's just better to make each day the special occasion that it should be.  And when the actual day rolls around on the calendar each year, make sure and eat cake.   

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