“Do you ever feel like being a mom was something you were meant to be?” my mom asked one day. I had just explained to her how even though this wasn’t what I was planning, I was glad to have it. That even if all my friends from college are still swinging singles, going out late at night like I used to, I’m ok with waking up at 6. (shudder) Motherhood has changed me in so many ways. It’s crazy. While I still have those when-did-I-get-old-enough-to-have-a-mortgage moments, being mommy just makes me happy. Most of the time.
Like today, Evan NEEDED attention right then and there as I was trying to listen to the news. (I just want to have something to tell people than Evan is doing well potty training.) He tried to wrestle me, kicking, pushing, and begging to watch Mickey, which wasn’t on for another ten minutes. As I moved around the room to get a little peace to hear the news, Evan just followed, crying for Mickey. Fine! Have the Disney Channel! I’m taking a shower! (yes, yes, I know I shouldn’t let TV babysit my kids, but you never had a fourteen month old sneak up to the upstair master bathroom and get stuck in the sink with running hot water while you’re trying to make dinner. Besides I stink like a guy; I need my shower.) My five minutes of peace, listening to Dido, using my sweet pea shower gel. Heaven. I get out to find Sean, dancing to Dido. And all is well in the world. (The kid’s got moves.)
Or the other day as I race to meet my friend for dinner with the boys in tow, I hit EVERY light red. I swear this only happens when I’m running late. Hell, I get green lights all the way if I’m running early. So as I hit another red light, listening to Evan tell me how his cousin is not a genius (his word, not mine, but true). Then Evan pipes out, “I’ll drive!” What? “I want to drive, Mommy! Let me drive! I can do it!” You have to be 16. How old are you? “I’m three!” Then you have 13 more years. “But I can drive now!” Then the light turns green, and I can’t help but smile.
But my favorite make-Mommy smile moment happened a few months back, and I still laugh. Evan was pleading, beseeching, begging for candy, which actually means fruit snacks. As Evan isn’t allowed to have a crumb of food after four or I lose all hope in getting him to nibble at his dinner, the answer was no. But Evan has his father’s sense of selling, ABC (always be closing) and wasn’t letting up. “Candy, mommy!” “Please, can I have candy?” “I want candy!” “How about some candy?” At this moment as I rubbed the bridge of my nose begging for deafness, I answered “How about some peace and quiet.” Evan fell silent as he tried to answer. Finally, he said, “How about a piece of candy?” Well, that cracked a smile and a little shame for wanting silence when Evan will always say something hilarious. He still didn’t get the candy, but I could go on making dinner with him tuned out. (Note: he now asks for piece of quiet when he can’t get candy.) The kid’s a crack-up.
These are the moments that make the teething, the temper tantrums, the constant not listening seem worth while. It’s the now spontaneous “I love you, Mommy” from Evan or the attack of the open mouth kisses from Sean. I’m a natural pessimist, but I’m striving for optimism and (God help me) perkiness. Between kids, I wore only dark colors to hide my weight, but I watched Evan how Evan liked me in my colorful maternity clothes and how I felt happy in them, so now I wear colorful clothes, no matter how fat I feel. No matter how many times I put Evan back in bed at night or how late I stayed up watching a movie doing laundry, I try to wake happy (and I’m not a happy morning person.). But I also like hearing the devil say, “damn, she’s up again.”
So to answer my mom’s question, a mom who stayed home with kids when she should have been running a business empire (I swear the woman has a head for numbers that baffles me), yes, mom, sometimes I feel like I was born to be a mom. Except when the kids are acting up at the store, then I’m just the nanny.