Every now and then I enjoy reminiscing to the good ol’ days…
“Strap on your seatbelt!”
“He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.”
❤ The Joys of Motherhood…❤
“Being a mom is a roller-coaster ride of exhilarating joys and pull-out-your-hair frustrations. Sometimes a sweet infusion of humor is just what you need to lift your heart to new heights, to heal the hurts of a bad day, or to instill your soul with inspiration. Take a deep breath, inhale the joy, soak up the merriment, and you’ll surely find that your heart is lighter, your day brighter!” ~Shari McDonald
Who can relate to this? I sure can!
He turned around and smiled at me, almost as if I were human. I was only one hour into my “runaway adventure”, and already people were starting to notice me as more than just a cluster of ceiling fans and breader of pork chops.
The man’s blue eyes gazed into my olive green ones, and he opened his mouth to speak.
“Lady.” he said, “you’re standing on my magazine.”
Mumbling an embarrassed “Oops, sorry,” I bent over, dusted off the ‘Q’ on his GQ, and handed it back to him. Then, adjusting my position in line, I focused my attention on the several hundred thousand travel destinations from which I had to choose. I scanned the computerized listing as one would look over a flavor menu at an ice cream parlor. If you can’t decide among thirty-one ice cream choices, how do you expect to choose one of a zillion places to go? taunted a voice inside my head.
“I’ll decide when I get up to the counter,” I answered.
In the line ahead of me, Blue Eyes moved several steps forward while the surrounding travelers stared as if they’d never seen a woman talking to herself before.
I shrugged and continued my conversation with myself.
You’re crazy. You know that, don’t you? You can’t just run away. Moms don’t run away, said my inner voice.
“I’m not crazy,” I said aloud, looking exactly that. “Every mom thinks about running away at time. Besides, I just want to go where God can use my talents and gifts. Someplace glorious. Someplace where I’m loved and appreciated and where it’s not my fault if it rains and a camping trip gets canceled.”
Sounds great. Where is that?
“That’s the problem. I don’t know.”
By the time I’d finished my conversation with myself, I had reached the head of the line. There, a chipper young man with a full thirty-two-tooth grin greeted me from the counter. He had All-American, Rah-Rah, Ivy League, Mom, and Apple Pie written all over him.
“Hello! I’m Blake!” he said and clicked his pen. “Do you have any reservations?” he asked — still grinning, still clicking his pen.
I wrinkled my brow. Reservations? Well, maybe a few. Depending on how long I’d be gone, I might miss Laura’s softball tryouts or my annual Christmas shopping trip with Alison, where I show her what I like, she tells Barry, and he buys it.
It’s not that I don’t love them. It’s just….
And then there’s Barry and the spare room we’re working on….
But then there’s the fighting and the whining and the bickering and the tripping over work boots and the….
“Nope. No reservations,” I told Blake and pounded the counter. “I’m gonna do this. Just write me up a ticket.”
His smile didn’t change one iota. He simply raised his left eye-brow and said, “O–kay. What’s your name, ma’am?”
“My name?” Suddenly, my mind went blank. It wasn’t as if I didn’t know my own name. I just didn’t know which one to give him.
I gave up using the name on my birth certificate and just started referring to myself as Mommy. As in:
“Come give Mommy a kiss.”
“Tell Mommy where it hurts.”
“I told you Mommy’s ears can’t hear whining.”
“Mommy’s face looks like this because Mommy just found out that somebody used her lace tablecloth to wipe off fingernail polish.”
I knew I wasn’t alone on that either. I know for a fact that none of my friends have names. We greet each other in the market:
“Hi, Sarah’s mom!”
“Hi, Laura’s mom!”
The vet even calls me “Blackie’s mom.”
At one women’s luncheon where I was introduced as “Nancy Kennedy,” I simply sat in my seat, looking around, until the woman next to me discreetly pointed to my name tag and whispered, “That’s you!”
That’s why I hesitated at Blake’s seemingly simple request. There was nothing simple about my name or the awesome responsibility it carried.
“Mom,” I told him. “My name is Mom.”
He wrinkled his brow and scratched his head. “I’m sorry, but the company needs more than just ‘Mom.’ Do you have another name?”
It was my turn to wrinkle my brow and scratch my head.
“Another name?” I echoed. I was about to tell him that Barry sometimes calls me Honey or Sweetheart (although more often “Where’d you put my _________”), when Blake interrupted my thoughts.
“Do you have a credit card with your name on it?” he suggested, then told me firmly: “We need to know who you are.”
Who am I? You know who I am…
- There’s a container of Gak dumped in a corner of my living room carpet and the moldy remains of a peach deemed too gross to eat stuffed in the cushions of my couch.
- I walk around the house with dryer lint and used Q-tips in the pocket of my robe
- I spend the majority of my day behind the wheel of a car — traveling hundreds of miles to and from softball practice, cheerleading practice, and trips to the market — yet never leave the city limits.
- I can’t do a quadratic equation, but I can tell you how to get to Sesame Street. ❤
- My prayers are often frantic and generally specific. (Lord, please help my child throw up in the bucket and not on the wall.”)
- At times I pray to be invisible, like during PTA meetings when they need someone to chair the fifth grade fundraising car wash
- Or during the Christmas program when it’s my child up on stage singing. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me,” as she proceeds to slug the boy standing next to her.
I know you know me…
- I wash my children’s faces with spit
- Pick at the dirt behind their ears
- Constantly wipe nose-burgers in and out around their noses (plus their walls along their bedside)
- Whine about their whining
- Nag about their nagging
- Worry that I’ll never live to see the day they’ll change their underwear without coercion or threats of bodily harm
- I have eyes in the back of my head and a nose that can sniff out doggy doo-doo on a sneakered foot fifty yards away.
- I have ears that can hear Oreo cookies being eaten underneath the covers by a child who is supposedly asleep.
- With just one sideways glance, I can tell who sharpened her crayon with my eyeliner pencil sharpener
- And who accidentally-on-purpose let the bathroom sink overflow.
- A few years ago, you would have recognized me as the one with strained chicken and peas plastered in my hair and a faraway look in my eyes, as I dreamed of a life that was not planned around nap time and late night feedings
- I was the one who, when asked by a poll-taker to name my favorite male television performer, answered without hesitation, “Grover from Sesame Street.”
Once upon a time… I had a stomach that didn’t fall to the floor and boobs to the waistline. Once, I had hips that didn’t serve as a baby saddle and a shelf for grocery bags. Once, I could even take a bath. ALONE. All by myself. Without someone pounding on the closed door, asking if she could use the blue food coloring or “just wondering” if Super Glue ruins dining room tables.
If you looked in my closet you’d find: baggy sweats with elastic waists; big, long sweaters; and pull-on pants. Forget Bill Blass and Anne Klein, give me Hanes Her Way any day.
You know who I am…
- I eat standing up
- “Breakfast” consists of the soggy cereal left in bowls on the kitchen table
- The ends of bread left in the bag
- Blobs of strawberry jam scraped from the counter
- I grab lunch on the run from a drive-through window
- Nibble on dinner as I cook it]
- I finish everyone else’s ice cream
- Then wonder why I can’t ever seem to lose weight
Don’t tell anyone, but I live for bedtime. I yearn for the sounds of a child’s slumber. I long for my own head to hit the pillow. I pine for (yawn)…zzzzz.
You know me…
- I’m the one with the knot in her stomach, praying her child will figure out how to turn over on the playground turnover bar so she won’t be humiliated in front of her classmates during gym class
- I’m the one who drinks the powdered milk so the rest of the family can have the “real” stuff
- I’m the one who eagerly counted the days until both daughters went to school, then cried when that day finally arrived
- I’m the one who willingly suffered through morning sickness, swollen ankles, uncontrollable crying jags, and overwhelming desires for lemon meringue pie and out-of-season blackberries (not to mention pushing a bowling ball through a part of my body a bowling ball doesn’t normally fit — twice)
- I’m the one frightened voices call for in the middle of the night
- I’m the one who changes wet sheets at three in the morning, rocks a nightmare-stricken preschooler back to sleep at four, then gets up at five to let the dog out
- I’m the one who, despite an utterly selfish nature and a propensity towards evil (in addition to an inadequacy in and of myself and a definite lack of experience), God chose as caretaker, teacher, and nurturer for two totally dependent little sinners
With apologies to the Peace Corps, I have the toughest job anyone will ever love.
- I am battle-weary from referring squabbles over who did or did not do the dishes last
- And battle-scarred from getting smacked in the thigh by a line-driven softball during backyard batting practice. Still, I endure.
Who am I? I AM…
- Cooker of oatmeal
- Cleaner of soap scum
- Taxi driver
- Spider killer
- Purchaser of folders with pockets and prongs
- Pencil finder
- Dental appointment maker
- Loudest cheerleader
- Most fervent prayer
- Encourager of dreams
- Holder of hands
- A tear wiper and boo-boo kisser
- Toothbrushing gestapo
- And example of faith ❤
You know who I am…
❤ I AM A MOTHER! ❤
And I don’t need a credit card to prove it~