Hi, I'm Thalia's Mom.
The pressure is tenfold, this being my first mother's day and all. And I kind of keep forgetting it's mine. For the past 37 years, Mother's Day was a day to celebrate all the mothers in my life. It's tough to suddenly see it as a day to celebrate me.
Because I'm a mother.
Oh my God, I'm a mother.
Whoever's in charge of this kind of thing--Mother Nature or the stork or the sperm gods or whoever--is surely thinking, whoops, I must have been on coffee break when this one slipped through the system. Damn those mochaccinos, they're such a distraction and yet--so tasty.
So now here I am, Thalia's mom.
It does have a ring to it, I gotta say.
While each of our experiences as mothers are unique, I believe that most of what we all feel the first year is the same - amazement, exhaustion, anxiety, joy. To elaborate on this would be to tell you what you already know, which is that, like you, I'm amazed, exhausted, anxious, joyous and more. Pass me a thesaurus and the list will go on until you have no choice but say, "yeah yeah we GOT IT already. Motherhood is crazy and you've never been this happy, and who knew, blah blah blah. Join the club."
And I would have to respond, "well thank you so much! I think I will join the club!"
To me The Club is the bonus feature that no one told me about, the free gift with purchase. Gestate a human being for 41.5 weeks, bring her home, raise her up, and you too get a free membership into Club Motherhood. Offer expires never.
The best part about The Club is that I already know the members--they're all the mothers I've ever loved and who have ever loved me. It's amazing how the simple (or not simple; common, maybe) act of having a child has connected me so profoundly to the other mothers in my life. I always knew that my mother loved me. I never knew exactly how she loved me. Until now. And now that I understand this, I am acutely aware of it in every mother I know--my friends, my relatives, the Korean lady behind the register of the corner deli.
It's like I have been granted a pair of those x-ray glasses from the backs of comic books, a pair of plastic specs that enables me to see inside the heart of every woman pushing a stroller down the street, every woman frantically shushing a crying baby on the airplane, every woman staring cluelessly at the rows of formula in the drugstore for the first time. I am connected to them all in a way that I wasn't one year ago. It's sometimes hard to resist the urge to run up to random women in the street pushing strollers, grab them, swing them around, and squeal, "me tooooooo!"
So MommyWars? Bah. Whether we stay at home with our kids or head to work every day, whether we feed 'em from the boob or the bottle, whether we put our babies in their cribs every night or allow ourselves (myself) to be kicked in the head by them all night long--we're all still Mommies, just trying to do the best we can with what we've got. In the end, we have more in common than not. Because even if it's just one thing that binds us, that one thing is the biggest thing in any of our lives.
One year ago today, I dragged my Jabba the Hut-esque pregnant self across the bridge into Manhattan for a very swelegant brunch with the rents. Watching a trendy couple maneuver the Bugaboo between the white linen-clad tables, I thought, that will be me next year. Minus the trendiness.
But today, I wouldn't even see the trendiness. At least not right off. First, I see the motherhood.
And that's pretty cool.
Happy day to all you mamas out there. Thanks for all your beautiful words, and to you HBM, for the inspiration for many of them. Thank you all for being the best of what mothers can be. It's comforting to know that even when we've got a whole lot of stuff going on in our lives, we still make time for each other.
Hi, I'm Thalia's Mom. I'm happy to be part of your club.