I started making a list of all the lessons being a mom can teach you. I included things like: patience, letting go, living in the moment, acceptance, and on and on. You know what I realized? I stink at most of the things I put on the list! Those of you that know me personally know I’m not the most patient of people. I practice patience, but often my Italian instincts kick in and patience flies out the door like I gave it a good shot.
What about learning to let go? Uh, no. Can we say “control freak?” I mean, really, what kind of mess am I going to be like when Son goes off to college in four years? Or how about when he drives? I can give you one better. He’s going on the 8th grade band trip to an amusement park. I’m not a chaperone. Honestly, the idea of him on all those rides without me reminding him to buckle in, keep his hands inside the ride, and not to talk to strangers makes me want to puke. I’m twitching just thinking about it. No, I don’t have the letting go thing down.
Do I know how to live in the moment? Not when I’m wishing they’d just go to bed. Bad Mommy.
Am I capable of acceptance? Well, maybe some things like how long Son wears his hair. (It’s starting to rival my length). But not others. Like dirty clothes all over the bathroom floor, thank you very much.
Does this mean that almost fourteen years into this journey of motherhood I’m screwing up royally? My kids will never forgive me and their therapist will be thanking me all the way to their vacation homes in Tahiti.
Maybe I shouldn’t be completely discouraged. Motherhood also teaches you about love. I had no idea that so much love for one little, creature born with no hair, no teeth and chicken legs could steal my breath or bring tears of joy to my eyes from just a look or a moment. Love like that can topple the biggest giant and that love floors me every time I lay eyes on either of my children. You’d think a mother loving her child would be a given, but it isn’t. I’ve seen what happens, up close, when a mother doesn’t love her child at all.
Now I ask, my faithful reader, what has being a parent taught you?