Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Mother's Day

I still remember where I was the first time someone said happy mother's day to me, and yes it felt weird. I was about six (almost seven?) months pregnant with Mila, was tagging along with my parents as they went to Lowe's before we headed out to dinner, and a very cheery sales associate said it to Marmousch. Then she turned to me smiling, "And to you, too!" Whoa. Like I said, weird. Obviously I felt very pregnant already and had been getting the 'when are you due' comments already from people I didn't know--but to acknowledge me as a mother, THAT was something else entirely. It was like a fist bump welcoming me into an honorary tribe.

Motherhood is so huge, it's so weighty. It transcends boundaries and generations and cultural differences. It's complex yet simple, paradox after paradox. It's the quiet moments that don't get instagrammed, the middle of the night loneliness and worries. It's rubbing their back as they're throwing up into the toilet. It's having your heart in your throat as you watch your daughter interact with another child on the playground; not wanting to helicopter, but wanting so much to let them know I'm here! I'm here! I'm here whenever you need me!, an over-spirited cheerleader.  It's changing the course of your planned productive afternoon when you realize you're going to be holding a clingy little one for every single task. It's ordinary one minute and magical the next. Sticky fingers, spontaneous hugs, multiplying crumbs, open-mouth kisses, emptied drawers, clothes strewn about, wasted bandaids, calico critters found in your makeup drawer, spill after spill after spill. The worrying and the second-guessing. My God the second-guessing. Worrying you're not good enough. Worrying you're trying to squeeze too many things in one day. Worrying you're not doing enough in a day.  Motherhood often exhilarates me. Equally often it exhausts me. But I know with complete certainty that this is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done. Raising these girls, being their best buddy, trying to teach by example (all the while they're the ones teaching me); I love it so much. These two little people who collectively weigh less than 50 pounds make me a better person. I feel so lucky, so privileged to be theirs. In many ways I was born on August 29th, 2010-the day Mila was born, and another part of me was born again on November 9th, 2012 with Dani's birth.

And maybe a huge part of why I love mothering so much is because I won the lottery with my own mama. She has been led by faith, selflessness, and love every single day of my life. She loves my babies as her own and I lean on her heavily for support. She has always been there for me, never with judgment, always with love and compassion. I am so grateful to have her nearby, something she never had with my grandparents living in Italy, and I can't imagine how heartachingly difficult that must have been for her (and for nonna!). Mila and Dani have a special bond with Marmousch that is so beautiful to watch.

Sunday was lovely and sweet for me, and I hope it was for Marmousch too who spent the day with us. Breakfast in bed. Steve, who lately has been zonked in the mornings because of strong, strong pain medications,  purposely didn't take anything the night before so that he'd be able to wake up at six to surprise me with breakfast in bed. Just writing that brings tears to my eyes, the sacrifice it must have been. There was also a very appreciated nap, homemade macarons, muffins, bagels, mimosas. Marmee must've gotten up on a freaking ladder to pick magnolias off her tree for me after I commented how much I love them. I got her a cactus garden and she got me...a cactus garden! Like I said, my mother and I...well, I hope my adult relationship with Mila and Dani is just as powerful.

Happy (belated) Mother's Day. And try not to be too hard on yourselves, even though I know it's part of the job description ;) We're all doing an amazing job.

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