Monday, May 14, 2007

Late Mother's Day post

The thing about Mother's Day is that you're so busy enjoying getting spoiled that you don't get a chance for blogging and stuff. So here is my late Mother's Day post. Really, really late, in fact, since I wrote this as a column for the Independent last year but they went a different way and it never ended up being published. Keep in mind that it was written last year when he was still in a crib and now he's in a bed so mornings start differently now. But last year, for Mother's Day, I was thinking something like this:

My Day

Today is Mother’s Day so it is my day. Up until a couple of years ago, it was my mom’s day. It still is, of course. I still send a card and call her and am more appreciative than ever of her since I know what she had to put up with (although she had two children to my one, so I probably still don’t quite grasp what her reality was). But, today is my day and I get to have breakfast in bed. This is to make up for being a mom the rest of the year. For doing what is frequently called the “toughest job in the world”: being a parent (I am pretty sure there are some soldiers serving over in Iraq and Afghanistan who might argue with that one).

But here’s the truth. Here’s my little secret. I love this job and every day feels like my day. I love being with my son: the way he smiles, the opportunity to watch him become a little person, the ability to see him soak up new ideas, words and experiences like a sponge. I love how much he lights up my life. He is everything I ever wanted and didn’t know I did. Every day since my son was born has been made better because he is in my life. Well, okay, not every day. Those first few weeks of colic, postpartum depression, uncooperative breasts, and sleepless nights were rough but from then on, I’ve really enjoyed motherhood.

Every night I stand over my son’s crib and watch him sleep. It’s a Zen-like activity. His quiet breathing and peaceful slumber put me at ease. Watching him lying there so silently makes me happy to be his mom. I am thankful every single day.

Alright, not every single day, but I always enjoy him at night when he’s asleep. Most days, the vast majority, in fact, he is a joy. Most days he smiles a lot, loves being tickled, tells me about dinosaurs he has dreamt about, says things to surprise and amaze me, and generally makes being around him a wonderful experience.

Then there are the other days, the ones that make me believe that the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers is based on a true story. Those days usually start right away, as soon as the first flutters of his eyelashes signal his awakening. On those mornings, I hear a wail coming from his room, possibly accompanied with “Mommy, I want to get up now”, screamed at a decibel level I fear could cause permanent hearing damage to both of us. It is like an “uh oh” alarm, to let me know how bad my day is going to be.

From this point on during “special days”, everything I do or say will cause him to cry and say “no” loudly and fold his arms across his chest in a classic move of stubbornness (I can’t imagine where he’s gotten that from).

A typical conversation on “special days” goes:

Me: “Would you like some cereal for breakfast?”

Son: “No,” (arms folded) “I don’t want cereal.” Eyes fill with tears while lower lip extends. “No, Mommy, no cereal”.

Me: “Okay, no cereal.”
Son (wailing loudly now with huge tears dropping onto the floor. “No cereal? I want cereal. Please, Mommy, please. I want cereal”

Me (rolling eyes): “Alright, you can have cereal.”

Son: “Okay, Mommy. It’s okay. I’ll have cereal” (like he’s doing me some huge favour).

This same conversation is repeated throughout the day about any number of issues. “no clothes, mommy”, “no potty, Mommy”, “no diapers, Mommy” “no nap, Mommy”, “no crying, Mommy,” “why are you crying, Mommy?” stop crying now, Mommy” (arms folded).

But see, even on those days, there are occasional hugs, a scattered smile, a surprise “I love you, Mommy”, that sweet look he gives me that I know is only for me, and it is still a good day. Barring all that, I can go into his room at night and see his unconscious form sleeping serenely, filling me with happiness, peace and gratitude. I whisper a prayer of thanks to God each night as I stand next to my son’s crib, that this child is in my heart and in my life. I would not trade one noisy, messy, hectic, crazy moment for the childless life I had only a couple of years ago. For me, every day is my day and I am more grateful for it than I can express in mere words.

But don’t tell my husband because today is my day and I’m getting breakfast in bed. Happy Mother’s Day.


Post a Comment

<< Home