Here is to all of us work-in-progress mothers out there. Out of all the wombs in the world, our were considered the least likely to become occupied.We are the women that aren’t predisposed with the Soccer-mom gene. Other people’s children can make us cringe. We live for socializing with other adults. We swear, talk loud, and often times use the blunt end of our wit. And yet, here we are, wondering at what point in our lives that our five year career plan merged onto the procreation highway.
Here we are, taking cheese graters to grilled sandwiches in an attempt to resuscitate the charred meal for the kids. Here we are, trading out our signature fashion pieces for Goodwill sweatpants. Here we are, videotaping out children, when they are out of their gourds before surgery, in hopes that we will have ample blackmail to coax them back home in fifteen years for Christmas.
My son will be home for Christmas.
We gave our last names up to our partners and responded to,“Well hello, Mrs. Spouse.” We gave our first names up when we walked into our children’s preschool for the first time, introducing ourselves as “Janie’s Mom.” We gave up our careers, set dreams in the back of the closet and even tried to pretend we enjoyed Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel after the third time watching it. We gag down gourmet peanut butter and mustard sandwiches. We learn to tie bows in all three strands of our infant’s hair. We taught our sons to pee....standing up. And after we survive all of these lessons, we are still baffled that our kids still talk to us. Yes, that’s right. They still indulge us (or, rather, manipulate us) with the thrills of past-bedtime existentialist questions and philosophical theory.
“Mom, why did the dodo birds go extinct?”
"Because humans made them that way."
"Were they delicious?"
And right at the end of discussing the Darwinian theory of “survival of the tastiest,” you realize that you are actually involved in a conversation with someone who you love more than anything. Then you begin to well up. Then, right before a full on gush occurs, a little one rips a fart so loud in the other room it’s caught on a nearby Richter scale. Now the tears pour, but for an entirely different reason.
So here is to every accidental, unprepared, unassuming, odd-ball, whacky, I-can-believe- it’s-not-butter, mom out there, doing her best to fend off the chaos of children while maintaining her shining joie de vie. We shall raise the next generation of wild, angsty, hipster, I-liked-it-before-it-was-cool kids that will someday remember those existential conversations, and maybe, just maybe, they will see it in their hearts to love their mom’s with all of their beings......and spare us from the retirement home.