In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to share a little something I wrote about 15 years ago, knee-deep in motherhood and writing was just a dream with no direction.
The snooze alarm sounds off for the third time, and my 4-year-old stumbles into the bedroom. Through dim sunlight, I awaken to Mickey Mouse pajamas and a Pound Puppy (a.k.a. “Baby Dog”) in my face as he tries to climb up to my side of the bed. After two, three, four attempts, he settles for a space on the floor and covers himself with my robe.
“Time to get up, Mom. Rugrats is on,” mumbles the voice on the floor.
“In a minute, Sweetie.”
Reluctantly, I pull myself from bed and amble downstairs toward the coffee pot, Mickey Mouse pajamas and Baby Dog in toe.
Soon, I hear the littlest pair of feet in the family hop to the floor. And in a moment, my daughter appears around the corner, one hand rubbing sleepy eyes, and the other grasping her beloved “Pink Baby.”
After morning hugs and kisses, I pour a cup of coffee, but before the first drop hits my lips, twophoto © 2010 Alejandra Owens | more info (via: Wylio)
tiny voices request, rather firmly, apple juice, milk, cookies and “masha-tatos”.
“I want cheese puffs!” my 4-year-old stomps, shaking the silence from the morning.
“Yeah, cheese pups! I want cheese pups, too,” my daughter joins in.
“I’m sorry. We don’t eat cheese puffs at in the morning,” I rationalize, still inching the coffee cup closer to my lips.
“Hey Babe, are we out of soap?” my husband calls from the shower upstairs.
I hand my son a bar of soap and send him on his way. Surely, he won’t remember wanting cheese puffs when he returns.
In a moment, he’s back wiping shaving cream from his nose.
“Dad says I can have cheese puffs,” he smiles.
At , we venture down the front steps and up the sidewalk. We’re off to the park. From the stroller, my daughter serenades the neighborhood with her rendition of the Barney theme song.
My pace quickens. With white knuckles, we’re practically a blur as we speed past houses toward the local play land. Afterall, if I hear one more verse, I’ll lose it!
Finally, with her settled on the swings, and my son busy trying to climb his way up the “big” slide, I can enjoy my first real moment of relaxation.
I watch them from beneath the shade tree, finding it hard to imagine life before they came along.
My moment of awe and motherly wonderment is short lived, however when suddenly someone pulls up in the parking lot behind me. I’m hoping it’s someone I know, or better yet, a new friendly face. Gosh, I don’t care – I’d welcome anyone over three feet tall who didn’t demand apple juice every ten minutes or need help wiping their bottom.
I turn to see mothers in Ralph Lauren jogging suits and short, perky hair cuts piling out of SUVs. They all jog over to the jungle gym with their kids in a very determined, almost military fashion. That’s fine, I maintain, having walked my children to the park (not by choice, mind you, but because the old charmer in my driveway may or may not have started, depending on her mood). Besides, everyone needs exercise anyway, right?
They must work part time, I wonder. Maybe this is their day off, or maybe their lunch hour.
But now, I’m sitting on this park bench watching my children play. What’s wrong with that? I argue with myself. We all make choices in life, and this is mine.
One of the moms crosses over to me, slurping from a sports bottle.
“Is that the ‘Times’?” she barks.
“The time? It’s a little after-“
“No, no. Is that the ‘Times’?” she repeats.
In a moment I realize she’s referring to the heap of newspaper beside me on the bench.
Just then, we’re interrupted by a piercing squeal as a set of red-headed twin boys fight over a sand bucket. So, the woman grabs the newspaper from the bench and hurries over to break up the squabble.
I rest my chin in my hands, and my eyes drift back over to my children. With a smile, I realize how my life and priorities have changed over the years. Now, potty training, kindergarten and “quality time” have taken the place of working luncheons, emails and action items.
I watch my daughter, the sunlight drifting through her honey-colored curls and my son with the missing front tooth and a tiny pair of glasses on his nose, and I know the choice I made to stay home and make them my full-time priority was absolutely the right one for me.
And each night as we kneel beside their toddler beds to say “Dear God” in the soothing glow of the Barney night light I realize, with great satisfaction, I do indeed have it all.
Happy Mother's Day!