Sunday, May 16, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
With the recent celebration of motherhood, I've been thinking a lot about myself as a mother.
This past year I've spent a lot of time with children, 17 of them to be exact, none of them technically mine, though by this point they feel like they are. And in this privileged, yet challenging environment, I have felt in just a small way what it's like to be a mother.
One time my mom had just gotten home from the grocery store. We were outside helping her unload the car. In the rush, my mom dropped a 2 liter bottle of pop. You can imagine the explosion. I laughed and laughed 'til I was near tears. And then I noticed my mom was in real tears.
"It's just a bottle of pop," I reminded her, not understanding her emotion.
It's like that expression, "No use crying over spilled milk."
Well, logically speaking yes. But, try telling that to someone who has dealt with spilled milk at least once a week for the past 9 months, even after endless reminders to "be very careful with your milk so that it won't spill." Or what if that spilled milk occurs after you've already cleaned up spilled orange juice or the remains of a raspberry churro that didn't sit quite right in one child's stomach.
These are not dramatic representations. This is real life. It's been my real life for 9 months.
And while we're on cliche sayings, how about "I couldn't hear myself think." Can you all really need something right at this moment? Can you all really be calling my name from opposite ends of the room? Yes, I do want to listen, but if you tell me one more time that he said he's not your friend, I might lose it. What was it that I was trying to finish again? "Ms. FLOOOORY" I guess I'll just finish it tomorrow.
One night I was crying with exhaustion. It's so tiring. It takes so much energy. How can I possibly solve all their needs? And take care of myself at the same time? I don't feel like a woman. I feel like a frump covered in snot and Elmer's glue. Forget about hair and make-up or pretty clothes, I feel lucky just to be clean. Did I exercise this month?? I can't remember.
And all of sudden I knew why my mom was crying that night in the driveway.
If these feelings can come to me as a teacher, when I send my children home at 2, then I don't know what it will be like as a full-time mother.
Is it ironic to say I can't wait?
Because even though the above is all true, sometimes painfully so, there is glory in motherhood.
It comes in bouquets of dandelions after recess or a big hug around the neck when you bend down to tie a shoe. It's in those lint-covered grapes that were stored in a pocket just for you. It's definitely in the moment you realize scribbles have turned into letters and those letters now spell your name.
And don't forget the laughter. There is so much joy in a child's laughter. How's that for cliche? But, I couldn't mean it anymore if I had coined it myself.
Motherhood is sacrifice. It's forgiveness. It's love, pure and complete.
My practicum for motherhood began this year, but these lessons of motherhood I've been learning from day 1, from my own mother. She loves me all the time. She always has. She always will. She loves my dad. She loves my siblings. And everything that she does is evidence of that love.
And only she can cut toast exactly the way I like it.
That's because she's my mom.
Posted by April at Monday, May 10, 2010