Putting myself in their pictures

Oh, how many times I have wanted to write this down...but oh, how many times I have been derailed! So let's try RIGHT NOW, before I should be running off to do many, many, other things!

Motherhood, for me, has been SUCH A LESSON IN FLEXIBILITY. We don't have to go any futher than this morning to look for proof: not 5 minutes after I was trying to figure out how to spend my only child-free 2 hours of the week did Bill yell down the stairs: "Katie's ear is hurting her!"

So...for about the 20th time in one week - no kidding - Mrs. Lucken is showing just how flexible she has become in the past 10 years. Out go the plans to fix up the garden at our old neighborhood park (my mother's day present to me was to take a quick trip out there to see how the things I planted are doing, and to spruce them up), out go the plans to get to the gym, to work on the 3-day fundraiser, to look into taking classes this summer, pull out the number for the doctor and make an appointment!

**break while I get whatever the stupid puppy has OUT of her mouth***
**flashcards which have never been used, now somewhat chewed, in the time it took to write one teeny paragraph! Puppy is relegated to crate...**

I certainly am not complaining about the fact that something is always popping up, requiring a mother's TLC...and today's doctor's appointment was certainly a necessity any good mother would have stopped everything for, if she could. But for me, the doctor's appointment was only the start of a long and very full day of tending to my children, and gently shuffling my own plans or things aside again. The ease at which I set aside my plans and hopes for the day is a big gigantic testament to my 10 years of motherhood...that flexibility is the one skill I need to take out and hone every single day of my life since I became pregnant with Emma.

And yes, I know that in most cases, I am overly flexible. I know that in many ways, I over-mother. I feel like I made choices (and still do) and give up more to be this mother than I ever expected or ever even wanted! Yes, kids get by with far less, and make so many more sacrifices for the good of the family than my kids do...and are probably better off for it. AND I am very aware that my children don't even notice all of the little extras they get. They think it is totally normal that Mom could drop everything to take them to the doctor in the middle of the day, drop off the child back at school, get to preschool "Muffins with Mother", drive back to the pharmacy, pick up the prescription, go home and quickly make lunch for 1st grader because she prefers that, drive back to the school to bring lunch, smile and say, "Sure" when 1st grader says she has decided that French Toast from the cafeteria sounds better, give first antibiotic dose to 1st grader, go home and feed neglected preschooler, and then do the shopping for the soccer tournament potluck, and get pet food, and groceries, and then quickly get ready to spend the afternoon at a Brownie function. Does Mom have any needs of her own? Maybe not so much...

In all honesty though, I know that I live this particular version of life for me. I am the kind of mother I am, for me as much as for my children. Being there for everything is important to me because I know how short life can be.

I remember forgetting to bring my shoes from home on a snowy day when I wore my boots to school...and seeing my mom's smiling face when she brought those boots to me. I know that my sisters didn't have that luxury when they were 6th graders; as much as our mom would have done that very same thing for them, would have chaperoned their field trips and fought with them about what clothes they should wear, she (and they) didn't have that chance. I know how much that has impacted their lives, and I live with the sadness and fear that the same thing could happen to my children. And so every night I fall asleep praying night that my BRCA mutation will not prevent me from being there for every single stupid teeny thing my kids need (even if I wish I was gardening, or at the gym, or pursuing some fabulous career, instead).

And until they are all safely off to their own lives and so done with me, I am going to keep putting my face in all of their pictures - here is mom, walking across the playground with my Amoxicillan. Here is mom, being the "Flight Attendant" at my "Flying Up" ceremony for Junior Girl Scouts. Here is mom, at "Muffins for Mom". Here is mom, at my Zoo field trip even though there are clearly more than enough other chaperones. Here is mom, at my soccer game, my swim meet, my conferences...yelling at me to put my stuff away, teaching me how to dust the house...folding my laundry, making my dinner...

And please, God...if I don't complain about never having that time for myself...will you let me keep doing this very same thing until they don't need me anymore?


lori b said...

gee...thanx for making me cry AGAIN! i hear ya! i hope my brca gene allows me the time to watch hayden grow up too. youre such a great mommie! cant wait to do a family night again...maybe now that our pool is open! (now if we can just figure out how to make the rain go away!!!)

JD and Bonnie Kenewell said...

What lucky, lucky kids!!! I had an awesome mom (just like you are) too and trust me, one day they'll know all of those little things that you do. Now with two I could cry for taking my mom for granted all those years. She just laughs when I tell her that! (Lately I've been saying I'm sorry for a lot of childhood misdeeds..hehe.)
What could be more important that putting awesome people into the world!

lee mendelssohn said...

Now I'm crying!! You are wise beyond your years,Pam. You have been blessed by your experiences to appreciate ,now, what most mom's don't realize until it's too late. And i am blessed to be able to watch my Bonnie be twice the mom I was and I watch in awe as my girls are all adding so much love and goodness to the world.I KNOW you are destined to look back and celebrate all their lives as I do. Happy Mom's Day! God Bless, Lee M.