I don’t want to say I have a one track mind, but I definitely do.
Always known as someone who mixes her metaphors, I’ve said for years, “Simple minds run on a track like a choo choo.” It made perfect sense to me, so I never understood why my husband always laughed when I said it. What I mean, of course, is that when I’m focused on something important I can’t concentrate on anything else.
Which brings us back to my daughter’s wedding.
If it can’t be bought, ordered, or color-coordinated it doesn’t have a place in my life at the moment. We are t-minus nine weeks and counting and my imagination has gone on vacation, taking my concentration along with it. I was determined to write a blog post this week, but all I can think about is what color gels should be in the up-lighting, and if the seating for the ceremony should be three-quarters, or traditional. How did I ever survive without knowing what a sweetheart neckline was, or that Wedgwood blue is not periwinkle? I’m in a foreign land without a parachute. I haven’t felt so out of my league since I first became a mom.
Everything was new back then too: DPT shots, with the P or not? Swaddling a newborn and which position – on tummy, back or side? Colic, croup, diaper rash, cloth diapers or Huggies? Breastfeeding or bottle? To Pump or Not To Pump? And what about toilet training?! How the hell does a mother ever survive toilet training?! I used to follow my daughter around the house holding a plastic potty while she ran naked after her bath, and when she stopped, her eyes crossing in concentration, I planted her on the plastic seat and applauded her success. And bingo! she was trained! Nobody taught me that – I learned on the job. That’s how mothers do it – learning on the job, correcting our mistakes as we make them. Somehow I survived, and so did my kids. And that’s what motherhood is all about. No giant eagle swept down and grabbed one of my litter. Hell, human moms have it easy.
Now, that baby who was so new and foreign to me is all grown up, a bride-to-be, and getting married. Somehow I’ll make my way through this rite of passage too. I’ll shed a few tears (all right, a lot) remembering those endless days when being a new mom seemed unsurmountable, overwhelming, and totally exhausting.
It’s funny how you miss those days when you look back.
Somehow moms get through it – we adjust. We change as the job demands us to change. We hold close when we have to, and we let go when it’s time to let go. Even though every fiber inside of us wants to hold on forever. We learn “to hold close with open arms” and love from a distance. Those hugs from little arms, that tiny hand holding ours, those kisses and “I love you, Mommy” we give up because we have to. Not because we want to.
That’s what it means to be a mother.
If you’re a mom, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’re not, just think of your own mom, and if you’re lucky to still have her around, hug her a little tighter this year on Mother’s Day. She may not admit it, but she misses you.
Every difficult moment you ever gave her.
Happy Mother’s Day!