Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

I think I always wanted to be a mother, even before I knew what it meant (or took, for that matter) to be a mom.  When my parents used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, "A mommy!"  I thought being a mom was the coolest thing in the world.  My mom used to tease me and say that she learned things in "Mom School."  I believed this so wholeheartedly that I even told friends I was going to Mom School for college.  I was in elementary school, so who could blame me for believing that there truly was a Mom School.

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new.  ~Rajneesh
I don't think that I ever was really prepared for what motherhood truly encompassed.  You fear more, you worry, you love harder, you think of things you never would have considered before.  It's an amazing thing, being a mom.  We have this great responsibility and have to care for, love, protect and nourish until they are...well, until you aren't able to any longer.  18 is no longer the cut-off, we have to serve as a family unit, looking out for one another at unlikely times and in times of need, for the rest of our lives.

All women become like their mothers.  That is their tragedy.  No man does.  That's his.  ~Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895 
Though my mother is very different from my mother-in-law, I see many commonalities.  Regardless of their differences, they are responsible for the person I am and for the person my husband is.  I am thankful for the man my husband is because I think he makes me a better mother.

So I reflect and lament on this Mother's Day, as my son finishes his first year of school and my daughter sits at the edge of turning four.  Being a mom is hard work, a full-time job; no one can truly tell you how it's done or give you a manual.  So I am learning as I go, with the wisdom from my very own Obi Wan Kanobi and the help of my best friend.  Though there are many nights I lie awake wondering, "Have I totally screwed things up?" there are more days that I can sit back and say, "So far, so good." 

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