There cannot be a Mother’s Day without the grunt work of raising children. Obviously. I’ve written quite a bit about this grunt work and how much I want a break from it for Mother’s Day. In fact, you can read it here and here. But I haven’t mentioned much about the tender parts of being a mother that compel me to write and share my stories.
I have two small boys. One is four and wild. The other is under one and sweet. Until they were born I understood love and compassion only superficially. When my first son, the wild one, was diagnosed with a rare and life threatening bleeding disorder I got a fast and hard crash into the lessons of love and compassion. You could even say it was brutal.
When my second son, the sweet one, was born I realized that everything I ever wanted was stupid. My goals up until the point of his birth were mercilessly selfish. Through him, I learned – am still learning – lessons of fragility and humility. He is a sweet and sensitive child.
So, I came to this: my sons are my bucket list. They are everything about life that I need to learn. Motherhood is exactly the job that I am supposed to be doing. I did not fall into this work accidentally, but even if I did, it wouldn’t matter because I’m smart enough to recognize the weight of its importance.
I once daydreamed about jumping out of planes or becoming an undercover spy. I wanted to write big important books on big important subjects. My house would be this insane art project that would take my entire life to complete. My husband would be George Clooney or Johnny Depp (shut up).
But instead, I got this wonderfully intense, round the clock assignment that has forever changed how I view the world and everyone in it. My kids have made me fierce and kind at the same time. In a single day I pretend to be a spy, I pretend to jump out of planes, I speak made-up languages, and I read big important books to a big important four-year old.
And it is pretty damn perfect.