So it's not often that I have one of those "Ah ha!" moments. I would venture to say that the same is true for most parents. We tend to get through each day on cruise control, going through our routines and just hoping to make it to bedtime with some degree of sanity left. And I don't know about you, but every night after my babies are in bed, tucked in safe and sound and snug as bugs, I sit and I think about a million things I wish I had done differently during the day. Things I wish I had said or not said. Reactions I had to situations that were either over the top or not reactive enough. I am so far from being a perfect parent it's not even remotely funny. I lose sleep over this. I really do.
The other day, the hubs and I were out to lunch with the girls. It was a normal day, a normal lunch, nothing special. Both of the girls were playing with their iPads (no judging) while we were waiting for our meals to be brought to the table (and yes, they put them away when our food arrives). I'm sitting there trying to have an adult conversation with my husband, and naturally my youngest wants to tell me about every single thing going on with the screen on her device. Most of the time, I'm like, "Yep, that's great," or, "Wow! That's awesome," not actually looking at what she's showing me. Come on, you do the same thing. There's only so many times you can look at the Dora game before you want to pull your hair out.
But then she said, "Oh look, I made it blue, Momma!"
There was something in her voice, such a sense of joy, that it made me stop and just look at her. I don't know what it was, it was something she had said many times before, in one version or another. But it just made me catch my breath. For a while I just sat there and studied her face, her hair, the different looks she would make as she was concentrating, her perfect skin, marveling at how this tiny creature was mine, was created inside of me, and how, for now at least, I (and her daddy) am the center of her whole world. I looked over at her older sister, and tried just looking at her, but I got the, "What??" question, so I smiled and let it go. The whole experience didn't last more than a couple of minutes, but it was quite humbling, and it brought tears to my eyes. Here was this amazing little person, calling me "Momma". Something I waited for my whole life. Something I had heard her sister say a million times, and I remember feeling amazed the first time I heard it. But this time, something just hit me.
My husband and I talk a lot about how lucky we are. Just the other day he was telling me that a coworker of his told him about a good friend who had just had a baby, but the lungs weren't developed enough and the baby passed within a day. We have friends and family who have had babies with severe birth defects. We also have friends and family who have either never been able to have children or have struggled and struggled with fertility treatments and doctor intervention to have just one child. I have PCOS, and we didn't get married until I was in my early 30's. I was positive we were going to have to go through fertility treatments and all of that in order to get pregnant. I was actually pretty scared that we were never going to be able to have children. I just wanted one. My whole life I had wanted to be a mom. I always thought that if I was just lucky enough to have one, I would be content. Never in my life did I ever imagine I would be blessed with two beautiful girls, neither of whom were conceived with any drugs or fertility intervention at all. They are truly amazing babies. My first born was a preemie, and she spent over a week in the NICU, but she is quite healthy now and so amazingly smart, precocious, sassy, independent, gorgeous and at the same time incredibly vulnerable that there are many times that I just don't know what to do with her. The youngest was full term, hale, and hearty and is now three. Enough said.
So again, we try to appreciate how lucky we are. When we see children in wheelchairs, children who have obvious disabilities, when we hear stories about tragic births like the one above, or friends who have miscarried, or other sad news, we look at each other and know that we are lucky. And yet, we still take for granted our two beautiful, well-mannered (most of the time) girls. Every single day. We take for granted the fact that they can walk independently, communicate effectively (and sometimes a little too well), go to the restroom by themselves (finally).......we take their very existence for granted, like we deserved these amazingly gorgeous creatures to be ours.
I could say I am going to try to change. I could say I will take the time every day to stop and appreciate these precious little people and how amazing they are, each in their own way. I am their mother, I love them more than my own life, I will protect them from any harm, giving my own life in the process if I have to. But I am also human. I get tired, I get frustrated, I get annoyed, and honestly.......there are only so many times you can hear your name being called in the space of two minutes before you are ready to break something. Seriously. If you can't relate to that, PLEASE, tell me your secret.
What I will say is that I will TRY. I will try to slow down and appreciate the little moments where my children are being children, I will try to cherish the smiles and the impromptu "i love you's" more, and I will do my best to not let my frustration with myself carry over into any frustration I have with them. What do I mean? I am a terrible time manager. I try to tell myself I'm not, but I am. And when we are running late, I get stressed and frustrated, and it's no one's fault but mine. So I am going to change that. For all of us. Because these two little people deserve happy mornings and yummy breakfasts, not "hurry ups" and frozen pancake sticks.
I'm gonna go get some hugs and kisses now.
One Blunt Mom