If you’re here looking for a post that explains how I installed our bamboo floors or how we replaced a toilet bowl in our house, you’re going to be disappointed. Maybe some other time. What I’m about to tell you will save you years of time – I’m sure of it. These words of maternal wisdom are the result of years of careful research and experimentation. I can tell you with nearly absolute scientific certainty (margin of error +/- 68%) that, instead of delegating tasks, you should do it yourself, Mom.
I have a deep and abiding love for my car. In addition to being able to fit just about anything from IKEA in the back, and having the driver’s seat perfectly molded to the shape of my ass, it’s my home away from home. More accurately, it’s my home in the driveway of my actual home before I get home.
As a mom, we spend hours logging miles behind the wheel of our cars bringing our children to and fro. Driving to and from school, various sports activities, and evening events – our fingers spend more time clasped around that steering wheel than our spouse’s hand. It’s not an exaggeration to say that my Toyota and I are in a committed relationship. I look out for her, and she looks out for me. (Yes, she’s a she. The Supreme Court said we can make it official, so don’t judge me.)
I love my dogs. I’ve often said that when I die, I want to come back as a dog. Not as just any dogs, as MY dogs. (I realize that would be a little challenging if I were dead…but go with it!) They have the life – they eat, they sleep and they get loved and snuggled every. single. day. In fact, as I type this, Bella is sleeping to my left and Nikki is curled up on my feet – not AT my feet, ON my feet – which works out for both of us, because my feet are always cold and she’s always furry.
Motherhood and guilt. The two things are tied together like teenagers and cell phones. In truth, it’s as difficult for me to recall a time I wasn’t feeling guilty about some choice I made as a parent as it is to recall a time I took a shower without interruption. It seems as though we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t: I felt terrible when I was working full-time and now I feel like I don’t do enough for the kids now that I’m not. I feel guilty when I don’t get them the thing it is that they want, or I feel guilt about the message I’m sending if I do. I don’t give them enough responsibility – or maybe I give them too much. I want alone time with my husband, but then I feel badly that I’m not spending enough time with them.
I’m a firm believer that The Universe sends signs when you most need them. Recently, I’ve been feeling a little unsettled – which I guess happens when you’ve just moved, your husband gets fired and you’ve recently gotten married. As a woman and a mom, I instinctively want to fix everything, make everything okay – get the house settled, support my husband as he searches for a new job in the field he loves, and get us into a routine that involves balanced meals and game night and all the laundry done and some kind of jar where we put notes about things we’re grateful for…or something.
My baby girl turned sixteen. I have a sixteen-year-old daughter. It seems almost impossible. I remember her birth with nearly the same clarity I recall my own sixteenth birthday. How can both of these events coexist in my memory, so clearly, so closely?
Sixteen years went by in a flash, just like everyone said they would.
I’d like a do-over.
My precious baby girl, I want to do it all over. Do it all better. Spend more time soaking in the smell of your hair, the joy in your laugh and feel of your little chubby hand in mine.