I love thinking expanded thoughts, using big words and experiencing the change in my mood after dumping prose and poems from my soul to blank paper. My list of creative triggers and epiphanies are wild eruptions born from a voice, a feeling, a scent of wet spring mud. They come in fits, furiously presenting themselves like impatient children crying out for attention.
Before yesterday, I even had the audacity to believe I'll write something beautiful, maybe not earth-shattering or worldly-known, but truth baring and self-effaced pages filled with relatable emotion and electricity. Then today came. So came all the doubt only oneself can conjure up and it overtook me. I refocused to fight the disillusion. A quiet stream of prolific words painting over the dubiety in my mind flourished and flooded me. And just then, at the pivotal moment of self-resurrection....."MOOO-OOOOMMM?!!!!"
Most of those moments depart as swiftly as they arrive because we can't find a sock, or a school form needs to be signed while a reading level book gets sounded out. I'm not sure I can recollect the last time I've gone to the bathroom without a child sitting cross-legged asking me questions, or my son pulling off ten-times more toilet paper than necessary. More often than not, it's a combination of the dog and one of the above.
I haven't bathed or showered much without a child under ten in the room in over a decade. Life happens. It is a beautiful grounding force but also an instant death of those magical moments of clarity and random story lines. Provocative questions or existential theories develop and evaporate in my already list-driven, task-heavy role. I could get angry, and I do at times. I could feel self-pity that my full essence and identity is neither validated nor merely allowed to flourish naturally.
In a profoundly unexpected moment of purpose, I paused in reflection. I saw how my son is nearly potty-trained and happy go lucky. I heard my fourth-grader cracking genuinely funny jokes with perfect comedic timing on the phone. I smiled at my middle daughter known as "the neighborhood tornado", She is bright, bold and begrudgingly very sensitive to other people's feelings. Not unlike her mother.
All of them, well adjusted, truly happy and independent. These traits are their own, and also a function of how well we have parented. Yes, it is a team effort. I don't solely take credit at all, but I recognize it as messy perfection. It is my job review in quiet pause of revelry.
Seconds into cleaning an accidently broken transparently green "Coca-cola" glass (available at the Dollar store) that was pain-stakingly picked out with tickets won at Chuck-E-Cheese amounting to cost:$100.00. My daughter, the one who acquired the glass, screams blame and finger points. I always ask, calmly: "Are you helping or hurting this situation?
When my son pulls out an entire role of foil for no reason that makes sense to me. I stop. Say: "Are you mad? I think you are. Want to snuggle?"
I bask in the random glow of compliments from flight-attendants, or strangers when they stop to say: "Wow you're children have beautiful manners, that's a lost trait these days."
It's been tested and taunted by beguiling suburban passive aggression.
It is tantamount to my greatest accomplishments now, or in the future.
It is sacrosanct from the bottom of my womb to the depths of my soul..
.I am their mother and that is everything.
Continued soon with: "Ode to Motherhood Part 2: I'm no Tiger mom, but I'm no Sheep.