Friday, December 19, 2014

The Truth and a Secret

I am going to tell you a truth.  Then I am going to let you in on a little secret.

I am often tired.  I am sometimes so tired that I find it really hard to enjoy being a mother.  It's hard when you are tired to listen to all the questions, and the crying, and the complaining, and still manage to enjoy it.

It's hard some days to clean up the spilled cereal bowls, and the orange someone spit out because they took a bite that was too big then decided they didn't like it, and the mess on the floor by the toilet made by someone who played a little too long and couldn't quite make it.  On those days, with the messes and the exhaustion, I just can't find the energy to enjoy it.

And sometimes it is my own fault for being so tired, because I forgot to go to the pharmacy (again) and pick up my medicine and probably I stayed up too late crocheting and watching Sherlock.  I'm new to the Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock bit, but color me orange and label me a fan.  So sure, sometimes it's my own fault, but sometimes it isn't.  Sometimes I am up with one, or two, or three kids who cry out my name in the middle of the night and need things varying from their blankets being tucked in again, to drinks of water, to snuggling away nightmares.

And sometimes we all sleep soundly through the night and I am finished with my crocheting project so I don't stay up and I remembered to get my medicine and (bonus!) even take it, and still, still some days I am just tired.

Tired from putting on five coats and five pairs of socks and five pairs of shoes and five hats and five gloves every time we have to go somewhere and then remembering where I put the car keys and where we are going and what we need when we get there, all while trying to field off the questions and the crying and the complaining.   On those days, even when we've all had all the sleep we need, I find it hard to enjoy this time of being a mother.

That's the truth.

The secret is, and what I have to keep reminding myself is that I didn't become a mother entirely for these days.  Sure, there are times when it is wonderful and you are adorable and funny and so cute it sort of hurts in my heart because I know that moment won't last forever. You will grow up and the taller you grow in height, the farther away from me you will get.

I became a mother so that these babies could see snow and stars, and flowers and trees, and all the animals in the world.  This is a possible goal now because we have zoos and pictures and airplanes and there are so many wonderful things in this world and I wanted to be able to show all of it to someone like you.  I became a mother so that I could teach someone how to cook and bake and sew and crochet.  So that someday, even after you have travelled far from my home, I would have friends who would come back and spend the night at my house and maybe you would even have littles of your own for me to snuggle.

I became a mother for you, of course of course of course.  But I also became a mother for me. It's actually quite a selfish thing, to be honest.  I wanted you, and I won't be tired forever, and you won't be tiny forever, and someday we will crochet and eat hot cookies and watch Benedict Cumberbatch be Sherlock together while your babies sleep in your old childhood bed.

And don't tell me that I will still be tired.  In my head, in those days, I have all the energy in the world.  If nothing else, I will only have to put on one coat, and one pair of shoes.  I fear that remembering where I am going, what I need when I get there, and where the car keys are will always be a challenge for me, however.  I guess I'll just have to get used to that.

Probably I am going to the pharmacy to get my medicine, right?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hanna Plans Her Life

The other day we were driving around in the car, as we do.   Hanna began contemplating what life had in store for her.

"But, mommy," she began thoughtfully, "I can't marry daddy because he is already married.  To you."

I didn't understand yet where this was going.  "That's true, Daddy married me."  I told her, looking both ways before turning left and probably not really listening to her at all.

"So, but mommy.  But who am I going to marry then, since I can't marry daddy?" I looked at her in the rearview mirror. She was looking out the window at the Christmas lights on the houses as we drove past in the early evening dusk.

"Oh." I was listening now, and trying not to laugh.  "Well, Hanna, how about you marry one of the other boys you know, like --- or ---- or ---." I said, listing the names of some of the boys she knows.

"Mom.  I can't marry them.  They are just little boys." Her voice full of disdain and heavy with emphasis, she probably rolled her eyes at me but I didn't catch it in the rearview mirror.

"Well, Hanna, you know you are a little girl.  Those boys will keep growing up, and someday when you are big and tall and strong and looking around thinking about who you want to marry, they will be just your size too."  I tried my best to explain.

"Oooooooooooh." She gets it now, I thought.  "Ok, mommy, I will find one of those boys to marry someday then, when they are all grown up."

"Good plan, Hanna." I gave her my approval.  It's basically an arranged marriage now.  Set in stone and no backing out with cold feet and all that.

"Mommy, when I grow up and marry one of those boys, I am going to be the one who goes to work, and I am going to be the momma.  OK?"  I nodded my head in agreement.

"Sure, if that's what you really want for yourself someday, then that's what you'll do."  I said to her.

"And I want to be a ballet instructor for my job."  Oh dear, things were getting complicated now.  "So mom.  WHEN are YOU going to TEACH me BALLET?"

I guess I better sign her up for ballet lessons.

Monday, December 15, 2014

15 Years Ago

New Years Resolutions are fun, aren't they?

Recently, my mom and dad found stashed away my New Year's Resolutions from 2000, along with those of my sister and one of our best friends, Sarah.

Oh! The memories come crashing back when you find something like that.  I begged my mom to mail them to me, and she did.

OH!! The memories! We wrote them all in shiny gel pens.  Shiny! Gel! Pens! I don't even understand what the purpose of those is.  I can't decide whose resolutions to share first! They are so so so so classic.  Now, for reference, we were all at this time 14 years old, give or take a year or two.

A note before you read them: they are all strangely cryptic at times. It makes me laugh so hard.

I'll throw my girl Sarah under the bus first:

1. (obvious)
2. Blossom to a wonderful flower
3. Stop making corny jokes
4. Find at least one special someone... ha ha
5. Be nice and try to include everyone!
6. Have Ashley and I work out when she moves in
7. Improve my vocabulary

Next my baby sister:

1. (all caps, underlined twice in the original) DON'T GIVE IN AND GET A BOYFRIEND!!! DO NOT!!
2. Keep friends with everyone I am friends with and try to make new ones.
3. Survive first semester of high school and seminary
4. Try and be more cheerful and friendly
5. Never give up...
6. Don't slap you know who I'm talking about
7. Get involved and spread myself thinner.
8. Get along w/ ... you know who.
9. Keep singing.
10. Remember not as m p luv u as u think they do

And, last but not least, my New Years Resolutions for the millenial year of 2000, the year of Y2K-

1. don't
2. make some new friends
3. quit speech class
4. keep in touch with old friends
5. don't

Ah, gets you thinking about what to resolve for next year, huh? It's just around the corner!  Go on, go out and buy yourself some nice paper and some shiny gel pens, and get ready for a new you!