Saturday, May 7, 2011
Ode to my children
On the eve of Mother's Day, the door to Liam's room popped open about an hour after he had gone to bed. Out peaked Liam, and when our eyes met, he blurted an emphatic, "Darn it." He was hoping I had gone to bed already so he could sneak out and prepare some things for Mother's Day morning. I scooped him up in my arms and gave him the biggest hug ever - he is absolutely the most thoughtful, giving person I've ever known. I am so lucky to have him as a son, and I know without a doubt that he has expanded my heart tenfold and in many respects, taught me to truly love. Downstairs right now I can hear the scribbling of card-making. I'm so touched.
And Théa, in all her glory, wore snowboots, a bright pink jacket, green and purple pokadot pants and a fairy skirt all over town today, twirling her way through the day with her twinkling smile, so intent on understanding the world through first-hand experiences and a constant pelting of probing and often unanswerable questions. And then, after several hours of tromping through slushy puddles, she requested I scoop her up and carry her so she could "fall asweep in your arms, Mommy."
I am not always a wonderful mother - sometimes, in fact, I'm probably substandard. This afternoon, my neck ached, my head was full of things that needed doing to pull off the impossible, and I barked orders and chastised my children for dumping coats on the floor and the like. But overall, I think I do OK. Single parenting, or as my friend calls it, dual parenting, is hard, hard work. But on the other hand, maybe one is more focused on parenting when you don't have a partner living with you. I hope someday to rejoin the ranks of those who sip their morning coffee with another adult, but I'm grateful for this chance to focus on my children, on motherhood, on defining myself, to some degree, and on showing my children what I have learned thus far about what's important and what isn't. One thing I know for sure, nothing in life compares to the gift of being a mother. I am grateful.