Better Than Stuffing And Sweet Potatoes Combined

I am pretty tired today.

I’ve been battling some sort of allergy attack cum friend’s cold that I just realized today was actually going around.  As much as I am sure the homeopathic nose spray I sometimes use –and my God-given paranoia– has been helping, it sometimes behooves me to accept an undeniable truth:

It is cold season, and it won’t be pretty.  Is it ever?

________

So as I was racking my brain trying to figure out
1) what to make for dinner;
2) what to write about here;
3) why some people are such assholes that, when I took a pretty nasty fall yesterday evening in the full view of a well-dressed man and his wife, both pretended that nothing had happened and moved on without so much as a supercilious glance in my direction;
4) why I am so tired all of a sudden;
5) why people insist it is spelled "all of THE sudden";
6) and finally, what to write about on here, yet again.

And then in my inbox was a nice email from the author of a blog I enjoy reading, called MamaBlogga.  If you’re a mother who blogs, you would do well to check out this blog –it has interesting articles about blogging and networking and it also features a monthly group writing project, which is something nice to be a part of if you would like a writing challenge and exposure for your blog.

And then, I breathed a little easier despite the dismal strains of NPR in the background.

_________

This month’s group writing project is on what makes me most grateful about my children.  Or, well, child: Herr Meow, soon to be two.

Right off the bat, this is not an easy prompt.

I apologize to those of you who do not have children and therefore have (circle one) [no idea about/little interest in/a confirmed aversion to/a full-blown documented case of the hives when it comes to/a hideous dread of] the children topic. 

I used to be a little –or nay, a lot like you– not too long ago.

I would look upon mothers and children and would shrug and go about my day.   

I would roll my eyes impolitely when people would foist unprompted little wallet-sized pictures of fat children posed awkwardly on sheepskins and letter blocks, or bawling pitifully while on Santa’s lap.

I would walk into Gymboree and instead of feeling the biological clock rage out of control or hearing the banshee wail of my American Express, I would shamelessly ask the salesladies if the rain boots or the cap with the teddy bear ears came in my size (hint: next time, try GapKids).

And whenever kids behaved like kids, I’d try to block them out.  Even though I have worked with kids of many ages, I always gravitated to the older kids –"more human" I actually called them.

I guess you could say I was not a kid person.

________

I’m still not.

I still peer with mild irritation at most kids’ pictures shoved in my face (especially if the kid is not cute).
I still bristle at kids I don’t know.
I still try in vain to see if things will fit at GapKids –though I have been forced to acknowledge that age more than size is the true deterrent in buying girlish fashions.
And I still roll my eyes at kids being kids.

BUT.

Because, you know, this wouldn’t be a heart-warming entry of gratitude and gushing feelings if this didn’t have a "but", I must tell you this: having a child has been, for me, a massive emery board, filing away at the sharp, hard, judgmental aspects of my personality. 

(personality range: from acerbic to bitchy in ten seconds flat)

Having a child has been a catalyst of an empathy I thought was only reserved for doing stupid stuff like bawling my eyes out at the end of My Dog Skip.

Having a child has shown me that it is possible to love someone so much that you scare yourself with the unbridled violence of those feelings.  It’s realizing that you can and will actually kill if someone were to attempt to harm your baby.

Having a child is repeating to yourself the immortal words of Uncle Ben Parker  and suddenly realizing how deep, sad, and sweet they are. 

Having a child is realizing that you can be SO VERY PISSED OFF AT HIM THAT YOU CANNOT EVEN BREATHE YOU ARE SO DAMN MAD…. and still love that little –or not so little– person so much it hurts.  Which, you know, makes it doubly painful.

Finally, having a child is hard work, no sleep, premature aging, far too many secretions (most of which are not yours), and not enough time to carry on with your life.

Your former life, that is, which from this child-ful distance seems so oddly selfish and devoid of joy and true love.  And so you give thanks for this life, which despite the bone-tiredness that clings to you like a film, is really that good when it’s good.  And even the tiniest smile can make it good.

The best?  A full-body baby laugh– possibly the most wonderful, satisfying sound in the world.

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This entry was published on November 6, 2007 at 7:53 pm and is filed under Herr Meow!, Inner Lotus Blooms, NaBloPoMo. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

15 thoughts on “Better Than Stuffing And Sweet Potatoes Combined

  1. And your child is delicious. Mothers are truly the saints of the world. They have the hardest job and I really doubt that I will be a good mother if I have children. I really like my sleep!

  2. I’ve been a parent for 23 years, and I STILL don’t generally consider myself a “kid person.” But there’s just something different about them when they’re yours, I think…and I think you’ve captured that.

  3. Great post! The little I do know of motherhood is that is a pretty tough job, mighty tough job!
    and did I hear you are looking for someone to write about, (fixing my shirt), how about me!!! Hahaha I kid you, that’s shameless self promotion.

  4. I sort of the same way. I find children annoying, and avoid them when possible. Not babies – there’s never anything wrong with babies. Babies are smelly, drooly little balls of wonder that I will sit and coo at for hours on end. No, children are annoying. Anything older than 2 years will tend get on my nerves.
    The condition lasts until around age 20. Some carry the trait well past that.

  5. I think the most amazing thing about motherhood is that after having the first one and swearing immediately after birth “Never Again!” most women after being around their baby for a couple of years start pining for that cute baby state and want another child. We tend to forget all the annoying things about pregnancy and birth and laugh at our husbands (boyfriends or significant others, whatever we call them) when they remind us of the problems we had. “Oh it wasn’t that bad”
    My girl is all grown up and yet the first thought that flashes through my brain when I think of her is of her holding my pant leg, learning to walk, and laughing at whatever nonsense I was saying to encourage her. I don’t remember what I was saying; I was too involved in watching my daughter.
    While I always carried a picture of her when she was younger, I only showed it to people when they asked to see it. I never cared for being shown pictures when I didn’t ask to see them. Then I had to deal with the reactions of “Just how old were you when she was born??!!” 😛
    I like kids of all ages. The younger ones are easier to deal with most times however I rarely have problems with any kids. Even teenagers. Of course the best thing about dealing with kids is that when I get tired of them I can send them home. 😛

  6. Love this post… And I, like everyone else here, do not really like children unless they are my own, or the well behaved offspring of very good friends… Otherwise they are just extremely annoying…

  7. I am ALL about the Neti pot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasal_irrigation) for colds. Really works! I practiced yoga several years before I got into it, I was skeptical, but it really does work. Probably shouldn’t have given you that hug on Halloween, might have transfered some cold germs as that’s when I would have been contagious but didn’t know I was going to get hit in the face with it the next day. Sorry!

  8. Thank you so much for your honesty (as if you could be anything but!). What a wonderful entry. Thank you so much for participating (again)!

  9. what a great post. honest and oh-so-true.

  10. Madame, you run the full gamut of emotions. All of them in one post is a pretty amazing accomplishment. Congratulations.

  11. i’m so accident prone that i tend to fall in public places all of the time. and #3 happens almost every fall. in fact, i am shocked when someone actually offers to help me or ask me if i’m ok. which i think is pretty sad.

  12. Rev. Mom on said:

    Well, my dearest, there you go with another amazing post! I am so happy that you are able to experience firsthand how it feels to be a mom. Now you can understand how I’ve felt and continue to feel about you. And best news is that it only gets better with age. I *heart* you, and I *heart* my little Herr Meow twice over.

  13. That was a really honest and upfront post.
    Thank you. I think there are times when we all find some kids irritating, if we are true to ourselves and I can really understand that loving someone so much even though they have hurt you or their behaviour is hard to take.

  14. Wow. I thought I was the only one. People often assume because I’m a mom that I care about their kids. Yesterday, at the zoo seeing all those children, I told my husband that he’ll be the Field Trip “mom”. Don’t even get me started on ugly (inside or out) kids. I can’t deal.
    @Ghosty: You sound like my husband. Neither of us had planned on having kids. Then we had the girl. Another unplanned pregnancy and we had the boy (he turns 2 on Monday). For the last 5 months, my husband’s been walking around watching the boy saying, “Oh, we’re almost out of babies! We need another baby. Don’t you miss having a baby around?” All I can see is freedom. Freedom from diapers, strollers, OB appts., shots every month, and other (generally annoying) passive-aggressive competitive moms with kids the same age. It’s close. I can taste it!

  15. I love your sarcasm, and yet underneath it all – those mom feelings are the same. Call it instinct but we would do anything for our children and are very grateful that they are … That’s it – that they just are.

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