Tomorrow is Mother's Day so I feel like this the perfect time. I just want to lay some stuff out on the table and see who sits down to eat with me.
Motherhood. The scariest neighborhood in town.
At the naive, scared and totally oblivious age of 21, I got a one-way ticket to "the 'hood" as I like to call it and 8 years later, I'm still walking around the block with absolutely no idea if I'm doing a good job or how in the heck my kids turned out so bright and capable.
But we're making it...
Yesterday was kindergarten round up for my youngest. I was so nervous for her and just like I thought would happen, she walked into the room full of kids and froze up. She didn't want to leave my side and talk or play with the other kids and she didn't want me to leave. Thankfully, her new teacher took her under her wing and I slipped out the door. When I picked her up she was all smiles, glowing in the light of new friends and adventures.
That scary, unknown part of motherhood where you know how they feel but you can't protect them, that's the part of the 'hood that scares me right down to the tips of my toes. It's like getting tested every day. Did I prepare them for this moment? Did I prep them enough to know how to act? Do they have the armor they need to protect their feelings and the understanding to treat others kindly and with respect?
But we're making it.
My oldest now rides his bike to and from school and home. It took several trips of me following in the car, reminding him to stop at the stop signs and ride on the sidewalks. The first time he went alone, I texted the teacher and asked her to let me know when he arrived, just to know for sure he was safe and sound.
When he was in kindergarten, he asked if he could walk down the block from daycare to school on his own. He's always been like that- years older and braver than I expect. 5 going on 25 I always told people. So I let him go "alone" and we survived. The next day, he asked again and I said yes.
"And this time, can you not follow me in your car, Mom? That was really creepy."
He totally caught me and I don't even care. I want him to know I was, and always be, right behind him.
Every so often, the kids ask hard questions, like what would happen if I got sick? What is cancer and why do people cry when they talk about it? And can you and daddy live together again? Those are the hardest questions ever. My heart literally jumps and twists when they ask the hard stuff. But I always try to answer in the most positive light that I can, because even if the answer sucks, which it always does in these cases, we need to be on the same page. Sometimes I answer and then that night I cry and hope to God they were at peace with my words.
But we're making it.
The one good thing about motherhood is that is a community. I definitely don't know what I would do without the network of other mamas who help me out. My family and friends... I'm always asking their opinions because I truly think if we pool all our lessons and mishaps together, we will constantly be able to learn from and with each other.
It takes a village for sure and we're making it.
In honor of Mother's day, I just want to say to other moms out there, we're making it, just fine. Some days, barely making it by, making it through.
But other days, we're making it great and beautiful and fun. So there's the balance and that's what makes it all okay.
Happy Mother's Day to all the ladies in the 'hood. We got this.