As a boy mom, I have a quiet but vast knowledge of all the best superheroes, video games, and fart jokes. My home is always loud and always crazy, then at night it fades to the quiet sweetness of cuddly, sleeping angels. I gaze at them most nights for at least a couple of minutes each while they sleep, just before turning in myself. Their sweet deep breaths are a refreshing peace after long, eventful days. I am done having biological children of my own, but I know I am not done with this mothering gig.
Whether it ends up being pups, cats, kids, or giraffes… I love to feel needed, to care of others. I think I would like to foster children in the next several years if at all possible. As much as I sometimes complain, recently I have noticed that this complaining is a lot less frequent. As these boys have grown, their reliance upon me has changed. With increased freedom and independence myself, I am starting to enjoy and appreciate them more. I feel like the first couple years of motherhood are just a really difficult test of survival skills, peppered in with sweet moments of baby cuddles. While wonderful in their own way, for me these baby years were not all sustaining. I love the interaction, the give and take, in the relationships our family enjoys now. I love the silliness and the quirky personalities that are developing. I love seeing these guys take on new challenges and learn new skill sets.
My first grader had his first spelling and math tests this week. He is learning (age-appropriate of course) about 9-11 and asking big kid questions that I find exhilarating to be able to discuss with him. He wrote an actual love letter tonight to a girl in his class and proudly showed it to me, asking for my feedback. My preschooler is learning how to play practical jokes… today he purposefully left a fake doggy poo and a fake bug on my desk while I was on lunch break, then giggled furiously when I came back to work and saw them. He now tells me all the time, “I love you Mama, you are so silly!” This kind of stuff to me is what little giggles are to you baby lovers out there.
I am so grateful to be their mom, and they have made me a less selfish person by somehow softening my sharply pointed anxiety and depression. They are forgiving, even when I start the day grumpy and crabby (cough cough, today, cough). We are learning to apologize to each other. Though I am not perfect, they don’t need me to be. They need to me to be real and present each day, warts and all. They see their dad and I occasionally bicker – but always make up, usually by laughing. These kids see us show up to help with their classroom, listen to endless Minecraft stories, and coach their soccer team. I watch them watching us. I find it fascinating that sometimes I can see them learning from our everyday lives together in real-time, and evolving with their imperfect parents into weird little wonderous humans.
We are all a work in progress, aren’t we? When we are young it is so easy to say, “I would never do that” or “This is right and that is wrong” or “I would never want this or that”. Things change, we change, life changes, as I have discussed previously (Perspective on Change). When I look back over how things have come to be so far, I am glad I didn’t know what would happen or where we would go. (You Just Never Know) Because where we are now, is right where we need to be. On the couch writing, checking our fantasy football scores, practicing spelling, laughing at AFV on the tv, cracking fart jokes, and cuddling with popcorn. Does life get any better than this? I think not.