Losing yourself in a sea of motherhood seems almost inevitable. As it, almost my entire friend roster is comprised of mommas and, to one degree or another, they've all reported near-drowning in sippee cups and balanced breakfasts and, sweet bejesus, diaper cream. And as much as we love, love, love our darling spawn, we sometimes find ourselves staring with envy at our single, free friends. Our minds drift back to brisk summer evenings, of drinking cold beers on a quilt as Bobby Dylan belted "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" into dark night, of staying up way too late and then sleeping in even later. With a sigh you push the memories of that totally uninhibited ghost of yourself back into the recesses of your mind and then spoon another helping of macaroni and cheese out for the kids.
But then, when least expect it and need it the most, some small detail reminds you that all things great in this life come with the cost of great sacrifice. Through all your bitching and bellyaching, you are caught completely off guard. That, by the way, is the design of it. If you happened to be expecting some breath-taking moment then it wouldn't be some breath-taking. It would just be, well, a moment.
Now, I don't want this to sound like I am second-guessing my path into motherhood. That's not the case at all. My children are the two greatest people I know and I'm not just saying that because they were housed in my uterus for damn near a year. They are witty and compassionate, quirky and kind. But, in order for them to bloom, they must be the object of my attention. It's easy to get absorbed in such an awesome responsibility.
So, this weekend when I was mentally and emotionally beat down, one of those simple moments crept up on me out of nowhere.
My littlest guy Rolan has always been a lover. While his brother is certainly sweet and full of love, he was never the snuggler that Rolan is. Rolan is just, well, affectionate.
Because both my children are early risers, clearly a trait they inherited from their dad and, subsequently, requires me to drag my wide ass out of bed far early than I would like, I was out of bed Saturday morning with the cravings for more rest luring me back to sleep. I sat in the recliner sipping coffee as Ridge and Rolan watched The Bee Movie. (By the way, if you haven't seen this yet, do. Unfortunately, I watch more cartoons these days than I would like, but this gets high marks from me.)
Just as I was cursing the universe for unfairly crashing into my peaceful slumber, my Rolan made me realize how blessed I am to have him and his brother to be up early with.
He shimmied up my leg and into my lap. First he touched his nose to mine and then buried his head into the nook of my neck. And just when I thought this moment was as sweet as it gets, he grabbed one of my arms, wrapping it around his body, and then reached down to grab the other, throwing it over him as well. He wanted to be near me, to be embraced by his mother. At the risk of sounding pitifully corny, I kind of got a tear in my eye. We know our children love us, we do. But, in these tender instances when you can feel the outpouring of their adoration, you realize that all the personal identity you have had to forfeit for their well-being is worth the investment.
After a few minutes, I broke my embrace and put my arms back at my side. Rolan reached down just as he had before, grabbing one of my arms and then the other, wrapping them around him.
It was a perfect moment, a moment I have been needing.