This is part of the ChicagoNow Blog-a-palooza challenge. Once a month all bloggers are given a writing prompt at 9:00 PM and instructed to write our little hearts out until 10:00 PM when all involved post simultaneously. Here is today's prompt:
Write about something you learned or experienced since you woke up this morning.
Dammit. I have not left the house today. I did manage to change clothes, though, but that was sort of a bonus and not really intended. I was standing in the downstairs hallway, just outside our laundry room, and realized I had been wearing the exact same clothes since Monday. Today is Wednesday. That's over 48 hours in the same fleece and Lands End stretch pants, and yes, underpants. Ugh. I stripped naked in the hallway and added them to the mounds of laundry, already separated, just waiting for me to take it to the next laundry level.
What in the hell has happened to me?, I thought to myself, standing naked and shivering in the cold hallway -- I'm such a mom cliche. Like a bad mom cliche. And then it hit me: I am a mom.
When in the Sam Hill did that happen?
Well, technically, it started about 8:10 AM on the morning of July 20, 2005, when my oldest child was born. But that is when I became a mother, not necessarily a mom.
Those are different things, you know.
Today, all day, throughout the day, were these kind of, sort of LOUD announcements that I am a mom. Standing naked in the pile of laundry was one. An obvious one. Doing dishes three times today was another. Feeling stretched between my crying, hungry baby and my little boy home sick from school with a fever was in there. Seeing my hair pulled back in a ponytail was one, sure. Oh, yeah, and there were those piles of Christmas boxes needing to be brought back downstairs and no one to do that but me.
Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom. "MOM! Can you put my juice on a coaster?!"
I honest to goodness never aspired to motherhood. In fact, I think I was the least maternal woman I knew. But things change, and so did I. And now, right now, being a mom is the most important thing I do. It is a repetitive gig. God love motherhood, but it is mind numbing at times. The dust and the dishes and the laundry and the bed making. I about want to scream some days.
But then a baby smiles at me in a way he smiles at no one else. And I swoon. And find the strength to wash his bottles and bibs. Again. And again.
Today, late in the day, really, the baby was sleeping and my boy was comfortably watching television. I crept downstairs to tend to that laundry, still in progress. For the first time in hours (days?) I was alone. No one in my arms, no one clinging to my neck, no one asking for a snack or art supplies. I took in a full breath and moved the laundry.
Rather than cart the clean laundry upstairs to fold and put away, I opted to fold it downstairs. It felt luxurious, that folding of laundry all alone. I clicked on the television and those Real Housewife bitches (who you never see doing any damn laundry -- real housewives, my ass) kept me company for the 20 minutes it took to fold the bibs and burp clothes and towels and boxers and super hero t-shirts. Dare I say, it was relaxing, those twenty minutes of solitude and laundry.
As I made my way up the stairs, I heard a whimpering, a sniffle, a padding of footie pajamas on the hard wood floor. Is that Mary Tyler Son, I wondered?
It was. And he was scared and crying and looking, suddenly, not much bigger than his three month old brother.
"Mom, where were you? I was worried," and then another round of fresh tears burst out.
The poor honey. I dropped the laundry, scooped up the boy and cradled him in my arms just like I would the baby. You don't really get the chance to cradle four year olds much anymore. I soothed him and assured him and apologized profusely.
"Mommy's here, pie. Mommy's here, sweet pea. Mommy's always here. I will never leave you."
I am a mom, a MOM, dammit, and these little people need me, rely on me, worry to the point of tears when they don't know where I am and think I have left them all alone on a cold winter's day.
That is some serious stuff, my friends.
So today I learned, that I am a mom. And I have the kids and laundry and dishes and dust to prove it. I am a mom. That makes me one damn lucky lady, laundry and all.