This morning, like most mornings somewhere between my first and second (or third) cup of coffee, I glanced at my old-school, sticker-adorned family calendar that leans awkwardly against the missing backsplash – the one that we picked out over a year ago and is still waiting its turn amidst the list of All Things Requiring My Energy, like the forty-nine mostly kid-related events filling up the month of May so far alone.
I kid you not (no pun intended). Within just a few short weeks, I have ten elementary school events requesting my physical presence.
And I find myself wondering these days: how DID my mother do it? Five kids. And I, as only one of them, signed up for just about anything: soccer, softball, basketball, lacrosse, swimming, synchronized swimming (I was terrible), drums (also terrible), viola (see previous notes), flute (you can guess by now), drama, tap, jazz, gymnastics, brownies, student council… the list goes on…
Somehow, she managed it – like a champ, in fact.
And that’s the crazy thing about motherhood. Our perspective shifts so damn dramatically from what it used to be.
Like when I was at the oral surgeon’s on Thursday, listening to him drill into my jaw, I found myself thinking about what a cakewalk that was compared to childbirth. (Ok, so maybe the laughing gas helped. But still…)
This is the making of a mother.
The things that we once thought we’d never do, couldn’t do, would-rather-suffer-a-broken-tooth-than-do, we do.
And we arrive at these places – these chapters – where we wonder: how on this sweet earth did I get here?
Except, we know: we’ve been being made.
With every pleeease, every millionth question, every morning cuddle, every elephant tear, every 2 am waking, every momentary panic, every persistent plea, every Oscar-worthy melt-down, every tug-in-three-different-directions, every heart-ache, every dream-we-still-hold-onto, every fear…
(Ok, now the word “every” is looking non-sensical.)
It’s all the moments where we don’t know where we’re headed on this mothering road, but we go anyways… and we do our darnedest to hold-it-all-together. And we pretend that we have a semblance of clue about what we’re doing.
Even though, let’s be honest, we don’t.
But here we are… mothering the shit out of our days anyway.
(Sometimes, you just gotta go with it.)
And so, to all of you mothers with children small or old, at home or launched, here or in heaven (the warmest of hugs to you… especially you, M….), keep being made.
Even when it hurts, or scares you breathless, or makes you wonder how, exactly, you’re supposed to pick up these particular pieces and carry on…
(You’ve done it before, and you’ll do it again.)
And so, to anyone out there with a heavy heart on this Mother’s Day, for whatever reason it may be, just know that you are not alone. We are here – in the muck, in the dark, in the nakedness – with you.
We are all being made.
Happy Mother’s Day, lovelies. May you feel the collective, motherly love out there in the world. And within you, too.