Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day Reflections

My major accomplishment today was getting my mom's gift in the mail. Ever since experiencing the joy of trying to use the automated postage machine while holding a hungry one year old and trying to feed him a sticky strawberry cereal bar, I have been thinking about being a mom. You know, that weird moment when you realize, hey I've been doing this for over a year now, so I guess this hallmark-created day is for me too. Weird.

On my first Mother's Day, HG was only about a month old so I was still living in that zombie-haze. I do remember that Nick gave me a beautiful orchid, which was nice-wish I had kept it alive. But I don't think I really felt like a mother yet.

Now I definitely feel like a mother...most of the time. Most of the time it feels so natural that I can't remember a time when I wasn't. But there are also a lot of days when I have no idea what I'm doing or why I'm doing it. Like when I hear those motherly things come out of my mouth and it sounds like someone else talking. Or the times when I just really really want a big block of time to myself, and then when I get it, all I can think about is getting back to that baby. The other day Nick and I were talking about possibly going to Bonnaroo again. It sounded really really fun to me, to the old me. But the first objection out of my mouth was that I didn't know if I could be away from HG for 4 days. What? Before, if I had heard the mom of a one year old talking like that I would have been all eye-rolling, "cut-the-cord," yada yada... now that's me. But I think I'm ok with that. I'm guessing it's one of many more moments to come when I will feel stuck somewhere between old me and mom me. But I'm guessing the two will just blur together as the years keep going- is that how it works? I don't really know yet how it works, but the learning is good. Me being a mom is me being me- hopefully the most me I've ever been. Being a mom is good.

And it's not just good because it gives me some sort of self-worth and identity and fulfillment and all that. Those are great, good for me. But the reason it's really good is because it's an actual job. It's a charge I've been given, and the actual responsibility is to love and teach that baby, not just find myself or whatever.

So this led me to thinking about what I want my son to learn from me. Of course, if you start on this path, the list can get pretty long. But here are the first things that came to mind.

1. I want him to know how to love, and I want him to learn from watching his father and I. I'm not just talking about him learning how to love a woman or have a good marriage. That's good, but beyond that, if Nick and I are loving each other well, our kids will know how to treat people with love- any and all people. Not out of fear, not out of self-promotion, just love.

2. I want him to know that even though it seems like money rules the world, it doesn't. Really, truly, it doesn't. Sometimes you have to squint to see past it, but there is so much more behind the big, fake, shiny culture money has built. You can do what you love in life. You don't have to do anything less just for money. (It may take you a while to figure out what that is, your parents still haven't.) You don't have to treat anyone badly because of money. You don't have live in fear of not having enough. Really, it's just money. And if for some reason you ever happen to get a lot of it, give lots away.

3. I want him to see the world and learn to be in awe of it. I want him to meet friends on other continents, and when he can't do that, maybe just have penpals. I want him to be an easy traveler, not afraid of places and people who are different. I want him to learn that people are pretty similar to him all over this world. Hopefully this will make him less judgmental than I am with the people who live on my own street. Really kid, it doesn't hurt your mom at all that the neighbors don't take care of their yard. She's just being foolish and you don't have to be.

The funny thing about this list is that they are obviously all things I am still trying to teach myself. But if he can watch me learning them as he grows up, maybe that will at least give him a head start.

Yeesh, forgive me for being much more reflective and personal than I usually am on this here crafty-blog. But I guess that is what happens sometimes when Nick works at night and I sit here waiting for him to bring me back delicious thai food. mmmm...


  1. oh, Reflection is good. In fact, I think it's really funny how you wrote this because as i was just back nursing one of the babes I was thinking about blogging some of these same things. We are supposed to go on a trip in November. I feel like I'm more excited than I've ever been in my life-yet scared to death at the same time. All I say is "I need a break" but when I go out for 4 hours I feel like I've neglected them or that I've missed something important. I dunno. I'm sure I need to get over it. We are going to go on the trip (hopefully I can successfully wean them before then!), but I'm sure it won't be as easy as this fun vacation I have in my head. When reality sets in of leaving my kids for a few days-it sounds hard! All that to are NOT alone in your thinking (coming from another person who would have set "get over it...what's the big deal" a few years ago)

  2. What a beautiful, inspiring post. Really. Good work (with the mama thing too!)
    And Happy Mother's Day for Sunday!

  3. I love that all the things you want HG to learn are the things you're still trying to learn, that's pretty much how it goes, huh?

    Happy Mother's day friend!

  4. I love you! And I love this list.
    And I love that baby!

    You are an AMAZING mother!

  5. So I was coming over to tell you how much Jaime and I love every comment you leave on Prudent Baby. You are our most hilarious reader. But then I noticed that you live in Cincinnati. I have to (get to?) go to Cincinnati for an in-law family reunion this summer (end of June) and would love a few tips on things I need to do there. The current itinerary includes eating a frito pie and seeing a reds game (per my husband.) Tell me what to do! Also perhaps some natur-y things.

  6. I Love your Mother's Day Reflections, and you're right, your parents don't always have it right about money and doing what we want. Funny thing about your neightbor's yard, our neighbor's also sometimes have an overgrown yard that other neighbor's complain about and encourage us to complain too. I always tell them I would never say anything to them about the yard because they are wonderful, kind neighbors. If it gets bad, Dad just mows it. I know Hendrix is a blessed child because you know what is important. And you are the best daughter ever.


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