I woke up this Mother’s Day morning, thinking about how I got to this point. The point where I can sleep until I wake up.
My kids are 9, 11 and 13. They’ve traded diapers and bottles for ipads and iphones. They make their own eggs and toast. But, there was a time when I wasn’t sure I’d make it to this point.
I had my first child when I was 36 and single. I couldn’t wait to have my own baby, someone I could cuddle and push around in a stroller. I bought sperm from a sperm bank, found a fertility doctor and Jackson was born. He was your typical angel baby: nursed well, napped well, slept through the night at three months. So, I started planning for the next baby. Then the next. I wanted a family of independent, successful and grown family members. Members that eventually came together on holidays, produced more family members and kept me alive when I got old. But, I didn’t spend too much time, any time really, thinking about the journey to get that point.
Sloan is my third child. He was NOT an angel baby like his older brother. He wanted more milk than my breasts could make and I worried he would starve. He screamed from 7-9:30pm every night and I worried he would never outgrow the colic. By two years old, he was screaming “NO” when it was time for a bath, bed, anything. And then he’d vomit. At some point during the night, he’d rip his diaper off and wake covered in poop. When we taped the diaper together with duct tape, the duct tape was all that was left in the morning. At three years old, he was biting his teachers and he hit a kid with a Styrofoam bat. His tantrums continued at home and got so violent, I was worried he’d stab me in the middle of the night. Sloan’s pre-k teacher told me he needed help or he’d never make it in elementary school. I believed them, so we started therapy.
I started to wonder why I’d wanted a family so bad. And I worried I would never enjoy the family I’d created.
Sloan’s in third grade and he still can’t sit still. He’s still impulsive and artistic and creative. He also begs me to dog-sit our neighbor’s puppy, which we do. He texts his grandma and me heart emojis before he goes to bed. And this morning, like the last three Mother’s Days, Sloan set his alarm for 6:30am, so he could collect flowers from the neighborhood and arrange them around the canvas he painted for me, the card he bought from the CVS, a fresh cup of coffee and breakfast he made of apples, cinnamon and gluten free bread.
His older sister, Blake, gave me a homemade card and my favorite beauty products—lip gloss, Sun Bum, mud mask. Jackson walked out of his room in the morning, away from the glare and excitement of Fortnite and gave me a hug and a kiss.
Coffee in hand, I plopped onto the couch with the New York Times. Blake and Sloan watched what kids watch on their ipads. Jackson was in his room playing Fortnite. I thought about the journey of motherhood. How mine has just entered another phase. A phase I’ll probably rush through like everything else in my life I’m rushing to accomplish— landing a client, writing a book, getting a boyfriend. All the things that once we get them, we start looking for the next thing.
And then I thought about my 82-year-old dad who just two nights ago took the long way to get to a restaurant. When I asked why he did that he said, “What’s the rush?”
Writing Class Radio
Writing Class Radio is a podcast of a writing class. It is for people who love stories and who get inspired by hearing other people tell their stories and who want to learn a little bit about how to write their own stories.
There's no better way to understand ourselves and each other than by writing and telling our stories.
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