I like titles that may or may not have anything to do with the story. I feel like it helps us relate better to life. Motherhood may or may not relate to happiness and fulfillment. Although to be fair, sometimes at the spa when reflecting on motherhood one can feel happiness and fulfillment, I am fairly certain. And just like this little story, the motherhood part of it didn’t really make me feel happy and fulfilled, you know, at all. And I don’t know what feeling I did feel. But you’ll see in a moment. Perhaps you can help me with the emotion I am unable to pin down.
But as all things in the last two months, my kids and I are communicating more and more in the car. Yes, I am aware that means we are too busy. I am aware because I am about ready to fall to little tiny pieces and be swept away on some gossamer wings. Okay, there it is. That’s where the title pinned. I am aware that my life has begun to be a series of drop off points, where I sit and watch and entertain the child not involved in the activity at which we have driven to. It’s a long several hours every night. I wouldn’t have chosen it. But if the school offers tutoring, you have to take it right? And then there’s neurofeedback for my son with ADD. We have to do that now too, since it took me ten months to make the decision. Now is the perfect time to play a little flag football couple times a week and do 2 hours of homework every night, too. I realize the beauty of all this is missing, except when I think that it’s temporary. Its intention is to help my oldest son quite a bit. It’s supposed to be something short of a miraculous journey for a little boy who struggles with attention and anxiety. And he’s my little boy, so I would pretty much do anything short of removing both of my arms to help either of my children.
So all that life, that parenting, that family time gets smashed daintily between cars rides about the city. And I think my favorite part is when my sons start having a conversation, which is truly rare, as they only converse between states of warfare. So I really enjoy those conversations.
Day 40 somethingish of crazy schedule and I hear my 9 year old ask my 6 year old…
“Zoom, you remember when you were little and I fed you sand?”
Cute little memory…
“And remember mom changed your diaper and asked you if someone had been feeding you sand?”
Ah, kinda cute.
“Yah, I remember that, Mack! Mom didn’t even know!” Peals of laughter because mom didn’t know and poop was involved.
And I suddenly pictured myself as the third person in the car. Sometimes I imagine I am much more important than that, that I steer this great ship, steer it while my subjects trust and smile and fight with me. But I realized I wasn’t the leader, not brave and strong and fearless. I was a schmutz. I’d been played. That story, that simple little story… I know it’s not the only one. I remember the remote control being hidden in places my youngest would destroy to find it. I remember my oldest at 3 years old, trying to see what this new portioning of a human being would be able to do under the right tutorage, the right training.
He helped mold a darling little boy with a crazy sense of humor. I took a deep breath while they shared a good hearty laugh. I pretended to be listening to the radio. I laughed a little myself. Oh the stories I will continue to hear over the years. Another sigh.
I was afraid to look at Mack, my 9 year old. I wanted to hear if there was more. There wasn’t. That was it. He had moved on. Thank god for ADD some days.
So see, motherhood isn’t really supposed to be about joining the cheerleading squad or finding out you’re a national merit scholar. It’s being given unique little creatures that are already smarter than you. And even when you are smarter than them, they outsmart you. It about watching little people who look a little bit like, well, your husband, and periodically show signs of being yours. You watch them and stare and wonder, sometimes fearfully, sometimes tearfully, sometimes hilariously. And for me, it’s extraordinary. I don’t always call it happy, but it’s always extraordinary, in a way that trumps happiness. Happiness, it’s for pussies. Extraordinary moments, that’s what parenting is, extraordinary mixed in with well, lots of poop comments, cause that makes it funny.
Cheers to you and yours today.