Friday, September 30, 2011

Ah Yuh Yoo

Motherhood is a trip, but if it isn't the most fun I've ever had in my life, I just don't know what is.  Let's be honest though - there are hardships - moments, hours, even the rare entire day where things go so wrong that I figure I should just set my hair on fire myself and get it over with, before the whining or the arguing or the pushing-each-other-down-when-Mama's-not-looking, or the general cacophony or the incessant mess or the runny noses and bottom wiping and seemingly self-replicating laundry and removing-every-gross, non edible thing-she-can-find-from-the-baby's-mouth drives me clear around the bend.  Times when I'm counting the minutes until James comes home, because he is amazing and will swoop the kids upstairs to give me thirty minutes to breathe (How I adore that man).  Times when I have NO CLUE what I'm doing or how my mother managed to have a constantly immaculate house filled with homemade bread and hand-sewn clothes and forty five foster kids in addition to her own five "forever" kids.  Times when I wonder who in their right mind just gave me two precious children and let me take them home, because I canNOT seem to get it right.  Then, just as I'm looking for the matches (for my hair, ya see) there's some instance of absolute...transcendent joy: the J-bird reads a sentence or gives me a spontaneous hug and tells me a joke, followed by his amazing, magical giggle. or he makes up a (generally long) story and tells it to me in a very animated way that cracks me up... or Miss V says a new word (yesterday it was "Whoa!") or tells me, "Ah yuy yoo" or laughs hysterically at her brother or falls so sweetly asleep in my arms...and the "hair on fire" bits just wash away, leaving only the good stuff to linger in the book of memories in my heart.  That's sappy, but dang if it isn't the truth.

I think that, as a "mommy blogger" I have a tendency to only put the good stuff out there.  I write about the funny things my kids say or the sweet things they do, the cool craft projects that teach something, the fun adventures - the things I'm proud of, you know?  I don't mention that my son has a bad habit of arguing and whining or that the baby is getting 6 miserable teeth and likes to bite people hard enough to break the skin before running away to scale the back of the couch like a mountain goat, cackling. I write about parenting triumphs, but I rarely say anything about the giant Mommy FAILS (of which there are many).  I only post photos of myself that make me look the way I want to be seen, rather than the shots in which my hips look three axe handles wide and my hair is a rat's nest.  I only post quotes of things I've said to my children that underline the kind of mother I want to be all the time, rather than the things I say (or snap...or bellow) in frustration that I immediately want to take back.  I realize this is a normal thing.  We don't all go around listing out our faults for one another, but, especially for mothers of small children, wouldn't it help to sometimes know you aren't the only one?  I think that motherhood has revealed aspects of my personality, of my heart, my character, my soul, that I never knew were there.  It lays everything bare, the beautiful and the ugly, but then what I do with the knowledge is up to me.  I can stick my fingers in my ears and say "lalala", shut my eyes to the unsightly parts of myself and pretend, or I can face those truths, accept them, and work at being better.

And so, like most people, I'm doing the very best I can do, the majority of the time.  I'm striving every day to be better - to be more patient, to shut down the whining and arguing and biting firmly but with love, to use a quieter voice and a sweeter tone, to make our home life fun while still teaching and molding and shaping.  To turn off my computer and set down my phone and engage with my two hooligans, even if I AM tired from the baby waking up (blasted teeth) in the night for the first time in months.  Little things that add up to big things.  And I'm so encouraged and inspired by the love my children shine back at me - how they respond to teaching and jokes and tickles and stories and "adventures" and hugs and "I love you"s, to the simple things that make up our day.  Do I screw up?  Daily.  Shoot - hourly sometimes.  But do my kids still love me?  Thankfully, YES (so far).  And I love them more than the air I breathe.  So I'll keep working on being better, at chipping away the ugly.  I may actually get it right someday.  Of course, by then my children will be grown, and I'll only be able to use my perfect mothering on my grandchildren.

Ooooooohhhhhhhh (light dawning) THAT'S how that works!


Alissa said...

Aww, Geneva. You are amazing. What a gorgeous post.

tracyannc said...

So absolutely, positively spot-on. I love you.

Jaimey said...

I <3 you. :) Fabulous post!!