A few days ago, sweet and sleepy, Mary Tyler Son asked what my favorite "mom power" was. He is four, and like many four year old boys, thinks about super heroes and super powers. A lot.
He discovered super heroes last fall when he started pre-school. At first, I found the new obsession annoying and lacking originality. His previous obsession was Greek mythology and he could recite the twelve labors of Hercules stone cold. Have you ever seen a three year old recite the twelve labors of Hercules to a dumbstruck sales clerk at Barnes & Noble? No? I have, and it was magnificent.
But, yeah, mom powers. I asked the boy what he meant, as I really wasn't certain I understood his question. He said, "You know, like when you read to me before bedtime. Mom powers." Duh.
I haven't felt so powerful in a long, long time. Mom powers suddenly transformed into MOM POWERS! I have MOM POWERS!, yo. How cool is that?
I asked what some other mom powers were and Mary Tyler Son was happy to inform:
- Protecting him from all things scary - I loved this one, despite knowing that moms can't protect their little ones from all things scary, take, for instance, cancer, but still, if your child thinks you can, that is some pretty heady stuff.
- Sauteing apples in butter and cinnamon - this one seems kind of lame unless you've eaten my sauteed apples in butter and cinnamon, and if you've had them over one of my pork chops, well then, BAM! You get it.
- Keeping him supplied with his favorite underpants, clean and folded - Mary Tyler Son has a few favorites. Said super heroes as described above. Animals are another. He is always really happy with me when he opens his drawer and no matter what skivvies he feels like wearing, there they are, clean and folded, waiting to cover his wee little privates.
- Giving him loving - In our home, when Mary Tyler Son says he needs some loving, what he means is that he is feeling tender or wounded or beat up in some way that makes him sad. What helps is for him to crawl up into my lap in the blue rocking chair in his bedroom and just hold him tight and stroke his hair. It's like magic and cures whatever ails him at the moment.
- Going on adventures - I have often said that I am a better mom outside of our home. There are no distractions. So we get out a lot when we're together. Museums, nature centers, play dates with friends in the suburbs who have "parks" in their back yard. We love our adventures together. And let's be honest, four is still pretty easy to impress. Yesterday our adventure involved an unexpected ice cream cone with sprinkles on a warm afternoon after school. Simple pleasures.
Trust me when I say that I never really aspired to be a mom. Didn't feel a maternal bone in my body until my mid-thirties. Who knew, you know? I certainly didn't. I spend my days picking up after my boys, thinking about what to cook for dinner, wishing I could get more sleep at night. I am a mom. A MOM, DAMMIT!
That is some powerful voodoo.
And as another super hero taught us, with great power comes great responsibility. What better or more apt description of motherhood is there? And I must be doing something right if my boy equates me with power. Damn straight, kiddo. I am powerful. And grateful for every minute of it. Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes we moms need that.