Friday, April 30, 2010

So Not Best Mom Material

Mother's Day is just around the corner and so are those dagnabbit contests!  You know?  The ones that search for Saipan's Coolest Mom or The Best Mom in the Entire Universe, Perhaps Even Beyond OursIt's not that I feel pressure to compete or need that kind recognition to feel appreciated.  On the contrary, I am humbled beyond belief when I consider how privileged I am to raise my children.  The word unworthy comes to mind, I am wholly unworthy of them.  Oh geez, I've failed them in so many ways, so many more times than I care to admit.  I've been a busy mom for as long as I can remember.  I've worked my entire life and didn't stop working when I had the kids.  I've carried babies, gone to school, nursed them while taking exams and kept on working as they reached milestones I worked hard to celebrate with them.  Wayne says I am too hard on myself, but that's only because he sees all the effort I put into making everything extra special.  Inside I am exhausted and hoping I am doing my children justice while trying to salvage the last bit of energy in me.  As I write this, Sommer is giving me kisses on the forehead, cheeks and nose.  She asks me, "Mommy, are you happy?" and my heart aches when I look at her beautiful little face, "I am so happy baby".  She still smells like a baby, innocent and warm.  She thinks I'm great, but she has no idea that I feel like I don't deserve her.
Before you start defending me, I've done really bad things too.  I profess to be strong, but I've failed my children in the past by not being strong enough to let some things go and give them peace.  If I knew then that the very things I was afraid of are things that chained me to our misery...I could have saved them from it all.  I still find it hard to forgive myself for not doing what I knew had to be done.  So weak.
And yet, I am their mom.  It's like never ending Christmas watching them grow, learn, unlearn, fly, fall, soar.  Sometimes I have to step back from it all and take it in slowly.  I am Tony's mom.  At 17 he is incredibly intelligent and learning how to wield his reasoning skills. There are no more sticky peanut butter hugs, but every once in a while he will place a quick peck on my forehead too, or poke me in the rib, a cool display that I have to read carefully before I see little boy at 5 saying, "love you mommy".  I am Hope's mom.  Hope, fierce and formidable, a young woman who still cries when she's frustrated.  She never goes to bed without giving me a hug.  Her hugs are long, tight and feel like sunshine on my soul.  I am Peyton's mom. Peyton who is wiser than her years and has a gaze that pierces right through me.  She has learned to decipher irony/sarcasm and to use it masterfully.  Peyton has everyone's "number" and she has my admiration.  I am Sommer's mom.  Sommer is so many things at 5 years old, articulate, funny, poised, with centrifugal force that makes her the natural center of attention everywhere.  And now Donny, Jay, Nan and Wade's mom.  It's new territory and as I learn how to balance how much they are willing to give and receive I feel like I'm wobbling.  There are days I do everything right and days when I am unfamiliar, even to myself.
So no, I'm nowhere near best mom material, but I will survive another year of contests, making concerted efforts to remind myself that although I am unworthy I am also unmistakably blessed.
I will not be given a plaque next Sunday as I escort someone else's child to a school event, and my children will have to wait to tell me they love me.  Right now, whether I deserve them or not does not matter.  I am their mother and already honored.

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