14 May, 2006

What is left to say?

What can I say about Mother's Day that someone else hasn't already said?

Being a mom has made me a different person - and more me, all at the same time. Watching my daughters grow up so far has made me clarify and distill my values, my fears, my quirks (both good and bad). Being a mom has shown me how far I will go for love; that there is a love so deep and wide and broad that it can never be properly described, and I can't imagine anything ever diminishing that love. I know it is Mother's Day, but I still cleaned poop out of carpet (who the hell gets berber, anyway?); I still did a jillion loads of laundry and I still yelled at the kids. Having kids has brought my human nature, my frailty, my decidedly unfunny bitchy side into sharp focus, and I have had to try to temper that. I have learned that I can but it makes me very tired to do so for long periods of time. Like say, a three-day weekend.

I have figured out that I am way more liberal than I ever knew - I want my children to live in a world with healthcare and housing and food and child care for everyone. I want my children to grow up to be president, or an astronaut, or a supermodel...without society judging their whole beings based on their career choices. My girls are beautiful and brilliant, funny and deep, perfect yet flawed. I want the people who love them to love them for all those things, just like I do.

I have figured out that there is a whole lot more to be afraid of than I ever imagined before children. Every adventure, every errand, every trip downstairs for more milk is fraught with danger. I have had to temper my anxiety, and I have been only mildly successful in doing so. I am hoping to minimize the damage of being overprotective during childhood by allowing them to wear lipgloss when they turn 13. Don't ask how, but somehow, in my mind, that makes up for the constant cringing and "NO STOP NOW" every time something even marginally dangerous may possibly occur.

I have figured out that I must be doing something right - my children love me. And I love them. And even though I let them watch too much TV and eat too many chicken nuggets and drink too much Diet Coke, we will all survive this thing called motherhood, and once a year, they will buy me a beautiful, sparkly gift; make me a card; and cook me breakfast in bed just to show me how much they love me. And once a year I will clean up the kitchen without bitching at all, just to show them that I know.



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