Being a mother has really brought to light all the meanings and feelings associated with this word. It is blissful at the end of a hard day of homework, lunches, friend drama, missed assignments. It is equally blissful in the early morning, I’m told, before creatures are stirring. I, however, cannot function pre-dawn so I try not to subject people to that side of me.
It can be terrifying. When you have a newly crawling baby who you turned away from to grab something off the counter to find her gone. Gone and only a stinky diaper trail to find her. Taking your children to McDonald’s, changing tables to get away from the bathroom, and turn and find silence because your daughter followed a stranger into the men’s bathroom – true story – Terrifying.
It can be cathartic. Days of your child coughing and sniffling and sneezing, and then when all the medicine and “rest” and staying home from school works and you finally have that night of quiet. All night.
It can be heart breaking. When sounds of babies crying and siblings fighting and screaming about not wanting homework once rang through your halls. One day you wake up from a fitful night’s sleep to find no snotty noses or pee pee dance to greet you before you’ve had your coffee… and you’d give anything to have that time back. .. or so i’m told. I’m still in the trenches, so by right I do not have to appreciate these moment quite yet.
It’s a bittersweet payoff after the hustle and bustle of readying for a partner’s business trip. The hurry up and pack mentality and destruction that involves finding every last piece needed before the quiet calm after the door is shut and the cab pulls away.
That sweet well-earned quiet as you sip your first cup of coffee the first morning of school after a long hot antsy bored summer. Elating.
This morning I did a mini experiment. I woke to my ratty-haired smiling daughter wanting TV. I usually grab my phone and do the email/facebook/weather phone check while she watches something. That way i’m fully human before having to interact or use a toaster. I left out the facebook part of my routine today. I glanced at CNN through squinty eyes hoping not to see something ghastly and thoroughly depressing. It was a decent news day. When it was time to get ready, I had no feelings of guilt (for not working out at 5am) or invisibility (no comments or likes) or being insufficient (no ghost/Frankenstein sandwiches prepared for my kid’s lunches). I remained unperturbed despite being awake in the dark. I even stayed even-tempered enough to handle my daughter’s fight not to wear her jeans, even though they were the only clean pants in her entire room because I fail at laundry every day. The FB thing is my own issue. I am far too competitive and jealous to look at it first thing in the morning when my mood is not the greatest.
I dropped my son off at school and came back to get my daughter settled with yogurt. My husband was upstairs packing. Instead of sitting with my coffee in front of the TV and seeing all the skinny, put together, business suit, perfectly coiffed news ladies, I made an egg and toast and sat at my dining room table. I had a decent breakfast, looked out my window and watched Fall happen. It was my favorite kind of morning. Foggy. Crisp. The leaves have turned here and are beginning to fall everywhere. We waited and went through so much before getting this house. I sat, ate, and appreciated the fact that I was sitting in my own house. Looking at my own yard. I let myself just appreciate what I have and felt content and happy with life in general.
The reason mothers appreciate quiet for the good reasons is that it is so fleeting. So now i’m going to play with my wonderfully loud and happy four year old daughter as all of her animals are getting married. What can be better than a Bear/Elephant wedding?! How about a Chameleon/Cat wedding? Got it. The grand finale is the double caterpillar/fish wedding and kangaroo/jaguar wedding. Is 10:30 too early for an open bar ?