It was just Tuesday. Two days ago. I remember driving. Being in the car at a very specific traffic light and making a right turn on the way to karate. The kids were in the back seat and either they had just settled down, stopped bickering and were quiet or I was thinking about how nice it would be if they did that. I remember also coming to that light after having a thought and having a subsequent thought of: that was meaningful. That was important. Other moms could relate to this. I need to write this down and think about it more. But there I was: driving. To karate. With bickery kids. With nary a pen or keypad in arms reach. (Or maybe quite a few in arms reach under a pile of bags and papers and normal car debris. I just wasn’t reaching for them as I was, of course, at 10 and 2 and definitely not about to drive with my knees.) And so. Now. Two days later. That thought is just completely gone. The original impressive, wise, thought. In its place is this awareness that I am missing my thought. The wisdom I had evaporated or it got buried under 3 to-do lists and laundry or maybe it absorbed. Maybe I no longer need to write it down because it’s a part of me. Let’s go with that.
For the past two days I have felt the discomfort of missing it- like if I retrace my steps (er, drive) I will find it again. It’s frustrating to know something was really important and now I can’t have it. It’s not as though this is an unfamiliar feeling. Missing seems to come as a typical part of motherhood. We have plenty of missing socks, missing remotes, missing books. And we have missed opportunities and missed stages. If I let myself I can find myself missing motherhood of prior years. The times when fork was not pronounced correctly because “r’s” didn’t exist. And the times when I worked for gummy grins. The times when babies sleeping on me brought warmth and soft dimpled hands to stare at and stroke. So many of these warm fuzzy times.
It’s ok to miss it. It’s ok for things to go missing. They have absorbed into you. These are the parts of my babies I hold on to. And it’s funny how some of those memories can resurface right when you need them.
And so when I went to bed tonight with that nagging feeling that I still can’t remember that amazing wisdom, I decided to not miss this opportunity and all it means. Recognize it. Take it out, write it down and examine it.
And suddenly, right now: I feel really conscious of all I still have. Of all the future times ahead of us. It’s worth writing down how just yesterday my five-year-old marched into the kitchen and said “Guess what mom!” … “what, Love Bug?” “I Love you!” And just last week my 8-year-old wanted to get some extra reading time in before lights out so I grabbed the other novel he had just finished and snuggled in to read “together.” Silently reading next to your kids who love to read is amazing. Seriously. I will never miss reading out loud… “In the great green room there was a telephone and a red balloon and a picture of the cow jumping over the moon. And three little bears sitting in chairs and two little kittens and a pair of mittens…” Those words are taking up way too much space in my brain- maybe that’s why there’s not room for wisdom-while-driving moments! I will not continue the memorized recitation but I do have to say- WHY DOES A BUNNY SLEEP IN A BED but the MOUSE doesn’t? And why does a Bunny need a brush? AND a comb? And what in the world is mush?
Yea, no. I won’t miss that strange book! Instead I will recognize that motherhood has brought me so much. So much opportunity. So much laughter. So much newness. So much purpose.
The thing is- if you know me- you know I am not prone to sugar coating it either. It HAS brought exhaustion and sacrifice and change. It’s not easy. Babysitting was easy. Your identity didn’t change. Your schedule was your own. And, your brain didn’t turn to mush. (See, now THAT is an appropriate use of “mush.”)
I guess it’s fitting I stayed up way past my bedtime tonight to make this claim on motherhood as Mother’s day is just around the corner. I resolve to not miss out. Things will go missing. Things will change. But there is so much more momming to do.
And so tomorrow: I mom.
I may not savor every minute of it and I may have to juggle a few other CEO of the home tasks but I am going to get out of my head, off my screens and stop worrying about always marking time and capturing wisdom and just love those kids. I also give myself permission for that to come in the form of quiet time if needed as tomorrow is a preview of summer and a day off of school!
I am putting this in writing right now. Publishing this to the whole wide interwebs without worrying about pretty, candid photo accompaniment (just follow me on Instagram for that). This way when, by noon, I am ready for a break or for my shift to end (they do get up at least by 7 so, I mean, yea that’s 5 hours), I remember that this is about having. Having time and having each other.
I am so grateful to have my family. I am so grateful to have the time to be home with them. That is meaningful. I want that knowledge to stick and fill up that open space. (and maybe also help absorb the Goodnight Moon brain area!)
May motherhood be a well balanced journey of missing and having for you too, mama.
I am an eat, play, work at home Mom- a part time new-mom's support facilitator- full time dreamer of clay- an all the time thinker- a trained art therapist- and a home biz empower-er who never has enough minutes in the day, clay in my hands or ideas in my brain to create all the things!
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