I’ve recalled that old adage many times, though it was not really soon enough by the time I started thinking about it. You know the one:
“Be careful what you wish for.”
After watching my own mother all the while I grew up, I still had the audacity to want to actually be a mom myself. There are times in every mom’s life when she wonders what she was thinking.
Surely we wouldn’t have made that kind of lifelong decision with a sound mind, would’ve we? Take the task of just going to a store.
It never failed; once we would get into the store and get a good start, someone had to go to the bathroom. After this was becoming a habit, I began to get a little annoyed, especially when they had just gone before we left home.
The funny thing is, that after our kids got a little older and came to the store, then it was me who needed to find and use the bathroom almost every time.
Our daughter would take such delight in scolding me about ” taking care of that before we left home.”
Then there was the time our (then) 3-year-old boys were in the grocery cart. I had walked a few steps away to get something and I heard a thunderous crash.
Of course, they had tipped the cart over. They were greatly amused by the whole thing, and came up laughing, and for the most part, were no worse for the wear.
My ego was bleeding, though, as my “Mother of the Year” opportunity had just loudly slipped away beneath the glares of other people who obviously couldn’t believe my irresponsibility.
Our daughter used to reap great satisfaction out of a finely-executed plan to make her brothers mad. (It’s what big sisters do.)
Our children had, a few months before then, gotten those small plastic license plates with their names on, to put behind their bicycle seats. Of course, one of our sons’ license plates broke part-way off, leaving only a portion of his name on the plate – “STIN.” So-not to be outdone in middle school prankster greatness, she grabbed a black marker and added the letters “KY” behind the letters that were already there.
You know what that spelled.
When he saw it, she was as popular as a billy goat roaming around at Bloomingdale’s, and the war was on.
I remembered our children getting off the school bus one afternoon around Easter time. Our boys were in the first grade then, and their classes had decorated some plastic Easter eggs, and they were encouraged to give them to their mothers.
One of our sons plopped his backpack down, extracted the decorated (yet, bus-ride-stressed) Easter egg, held it up to me and said, “Here, Mom. This is for you. There was candy in it, but I got hungry.”
To this day when I see a plastic Easter egg, I think of that story, and know that if I had never become a mother, I would not have understood how funny something like that could be.
Our daughter was only about 18 months old when I went to pick her up from the daycare provider one day after work.
To my surprise, the provider met me at the door with our little daughter and her diaper bag, and said, “Here, you can have her. She’s been crabby like this all day.”
Her front door almost gave me slivers in my backside as she closed it directly behind us. Thank God for cellulite back there, or it could have been much more traumatic.
About halfway home with a very unhappy baby, I decided to try reciting the words of her favorite book. She stopped crying immediately, never once looked away from me, and was immediately calmed.
Yes, there is something about mothers that is calming to us all. No matter how old we are. Our mothers know us the best.
There are times when we think about what our lives were like before we had kids, and we wonder what we did with all of our time.
I used to calm my somewhat panicked self in those weeks and months after we first discovered our “twin” news, by remembering the words of a very wise neighbor, who was a mother of grown children.
She said to me, “You know, honey, one baby takes up all of your time. Two aren’t going to take up any more of it.” Mothers know.
We have experienced both of those scenarios. And thank God we were granted those special little people that we wished for in the first place. Our lives were never the same. And we are grateful.
Schwaller is a Farm News correspondent from Milford. Reach her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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