Sometimes I joke that I've lived two lives. My second life began the day Eliza was born. Everything changed. I was twenty two (barely) and clueless. At the hospital, I remember looking around the nurse station and wondering which of the lovely, qualified nurses would be accompaning Andrew, Eliza and me home. In my mind, there was no way they could possibly trust us to take a most beloved and precious baby home by ourselves! *Gasp! I was wrong. They did! And with that, the best ride of our life began.
Nana Marie makes cupcakes for
Eliza's birthday celebration.
Mothers day 2012
It wasn't long until we had found a rhythm. With Eliza the absolute center of my world, my new life began to take shape. Quiet and careful observation would teach me that while we, as Mothers, share many commonalities, the rhythm of each family is different.
Comparing the role of Mother to that of a composer, I would say that we're each enveloped in creating our individual masterpiece. Our songs vary in length. The timing is not identical. However, each song has its moments of intensity where the music is loud, fast and at times, all consuming. A shift, sometimes gradual, sometimes abrupt, occurs as the new sound rushes in feelings of peace, contentment and tranquility. Just when you think that you have the melody nailed down, you feel compelled to add another element. The theme changes once more yet as you replay what you've written, you marvel at its beauty. Understanding that you have miles to go before its completion, you feel overwhelmed. Still, you are proud of what you've done and can clearly see that something Divine has been assisting you compose each and every measure. Once again, you rededicate yourself to your song.
Listening to the work of other composers, in various stages of completion, inspires you. You chide yourself when you find yourself comparing as you remember that each song is meant to be different. For those who are just beginning to write their song, you feel a sense of renewal as the spark of their enthusiasm strengthens you. And then there are those precious songs that you find so familiar. You hear the song in which you were raised. The core of that melody is ingrained in your own daily tasks and you find yourself wanting to incorporate and praise the work of those composers into your own piece.
Eliza and Nanna Marie visit my Grandparent's grave
Mothers day 2012
I am not a musician so I apologize for botching this analogy; but hopefully I've made a clear point.
So here I sit at a stage in life that Andrew and I find so special. Wanting to capture with words a day in my life, here are a few expectations I hold for today. I acknowledge the foolishness in making an assumption that a day will unfold in a particular way. As Mothers we are to expect the unexpected (read: over prepare) as there will always be surprises, both positive and negative. Even so, I'd like to offer a few solid predictions:
Today, I will find a moment (*fingers crossed*) of solitude. This sweet time will be interrupted by a series of simultaneous demands. It surprises me how often their sudden wants are in sync.All at once, I will need to find a shoe, reach a cup down from the cupboard for a drink and look at recently completed picture.
Along those same lines, today I will make a phone call. My previously quiet, calm children will suddenly be in my face, in need of my immediate attention. As soon as the phone call concludes, peace is mysteriously restored.
Today I will do laundry. As I divide the monster size pile into three smaller piles, I will say,
"Bleh." Unexpectedly Eliza will come and mate socks with me. The weekly frustration of finding matches suddenly becomes a game. When I pick up the tiniest pair of socks and realize they no longer fit my baby, I feel a pang of sadness. Looking again, I realize that those three piles of tedium are a reminder of life's most precious gifts. My attitude changes.
Today my children will argue. After spending too much time together, I can see that they need space. A decree is thus set stating that the children are to play in separate areas until further notification is received.
Today my children will choose to be kind to one another. Henry will admire Eliza's creation in the sand box. Eliza will compliment Henry on his letters and they will both go out of their way to make Lottie giggle.
Today I will feel smart. Even though my days of formal education have passed, I will feel the muscles in my brain exercise as I plot out a meal plan using coupons and coordinate our daily schedules. These tasks seem mundane and unimportant, but the success of a well thought out and executed day is still sweet.
Today I will forget something. Or maybe a couple of things.
Today we will pray. Today I will rely on that prayer when Eliza asks another question that I know I need to respond to with care.
Today I will drive my daughter to school. And even though it is her last week of school, I will still feel sad as I watch her leave my car and walk away into the building.
Today I will scream the words, "BE QUIET!" - sometimes Mom's are hypocritical too.
Today someone will get hurt. They will cry and I will get to be their band-aid.
Today I will cook for my family. I will feel dismayed over their impatience. My reply that it's finally ready wont be as sweet as it ought. As they eat, I will busy myself with the routine task of loading the dishwasher. Letting me know they are finished, I will find that their plate is clean. Seeing them well nourished, I am swallowed in a feeling of deep satisfaction.
Today Henry will make me laugh.
Today I will be a referee. Literally, I will want a whistle. What's most intimidating is that I always don't know how to call each play. However, when the children are playing by the rules, I will be involved in a game that is filled with quality entertainment that was somehow tailored made for my spouse and me.
Today the children will rendezvous with their friends outside. They will play for hours in their sandbox, blow bubbles and ask for snacks. Today I will sweep (and sweep and sweep) the sand off of the floor while I fix on the the memory of the above mentioned happiness.
Today someone in the world will belittle the work of Motherhood. And while I remain an overly sensitive female, it won't bother me one bit.
Today I will most likely change each diaper. It's okay because my counter part is busy working hard at his job. I need to do my part at home as cheerfully as he does his.
Today I will hug Andrew tightly. The sound of the garage door opening and closing signifies how fortunate I am to stay at home with our children. The fanfare that surrounds his arrival home each night is well deserved.
Today my children will grow irritated. They may disagree with a rule or be upset when I insist its time to get out of the tub. However, when bedtime rolls around, my face, with all of its imperfections, will be the last one they want to see. In the morning, it will be the first one they want to see...this brings tremendous happiness.
Today my children will shower me with love, whether I deserve it or not. Henry will look at me and say as he has a few times before,
"You're the exact Mom that I wanted." or "I always wanted a Mom just like you." And I will about die as a result of his words. Or he will randomly draw a picture of me when I was pregnant with Lottie.
Today Eliza, who shares my love language, will write me letters. I will write her some too.
Thank you for cleaning,
washing, dressing and
Your loving, Eliza"
Your the best girl I've ever seen
also lottie too.
Thank you for everything else too.
Write back please,
I've loved you forever
yes that's true!
I love how the nicest mom ever
yes that's true.
It is you.
Eliza and Mom running through sprinklers
Our poor attempt to take a Mothers Day photo
was thwarted by an absent baby and a dead camera battery.