It wasn’t anything earth-shattering. To other types of mamas perhaps, it could even be considered insanely ridiculous that this moment would arrive at such a completely mundane time.
It was after 9 PM. I had been folding a couple loads of laundry that had piled high in the basket after being neglected for the last 12 hours or so. I had been watching some Tivo’d Glee that I had let the viewing fall behind on due to some really nonsensical and insulting story lines that had been interjected into my beloved theater geeky, heartwarming, formerly-consistent evening pleasure. A commercial break. And instead of forwarding through it, I took the moment to go deliver a pile of clothing to my girls’ room.
I clicked on the hallway light but left their room dark. I walked in over their pink rug that defined their main floor/Barbieville/Miley-Cyrus-dance-party/SqueakieCentral/Lego-City/emergency veterinary/art gallery/play-space that I had worked hard to clean a few hours before. I stood at their dresser, pulled open their drawers and started lying in articles of freshly laundered and folded clothing into their designated spots. I glanced over, with the dim hallway light streaming in, and there they were.
All long-limbed and tangled in rainbow-colored polka dot sheets and a white puffy comforter affectionately dubbed “The Dream Cloud” snoozing soundly away after a solid weekend filled with a Gnomeo and Juliet viewing, a trip to Shakey’s, a Target adventure, a ballet class, an Irish Dance performance, a trip to the library, treats of frozen yogurt AND ice cream, and plenty of deck-dancing, succulent planting, computer playing, and enough imagination to last a lifetime. And the cherry on top of our delicious family sundae weekend was the highly-anticipated finale of our four-part bedtime story series which I had started five nights before. I think I want to end more nights with homespun tales of ridiculous proportions. I don’t think the girls and I have ever laughed quite so hard as we did these past few nights during our off-the-cuff storytelling.
So as I glanced and bent to lay in some of their school uniform shorts and t-shirts into the bottom right drawer where they are stashed, this moment arrived.
The kind of moment I had feared would never come when I first found out I was going to become a mother. The kind of moment I doubted was meant for me. The kind of moment I rarely have because I have struggled to truly become a mother, from the inside. I feel too often that I am an outsider looking in. That I’m still MYSELF too much of the time. I feared this before pushing out my first child. That I was too selfish to really be a good mother. That so many other women had so much more to give. Or at least were so much better at being graceful about the giving. About the complete and utter surrender that is being a mama. The surrender that I face again and again at every single dawn and fight all the way to the end of each and every day only to usually collapse into a heap at the end knowing I’m a better soul for the struggle.
So yeah, the moment.
As I laid those uniform shorts and t-shirts into the drawer, I felt it rise within me. A feeling of a peaceful warrior winning the battle that I wage within. A feeling of success. A feeling of complete and utter content.
I’m doing this. I’m a mother and I’m doing this. I’m succeeding. I’m a good mom.
I know, I know. You wouldn’t think a trip to the library, an improv series of bedtime storytelling and a few clean clothes could make me feel this way. But it did.
It’s been a little over 2 1/2 hours since this moment arrived, and I’m still basking in it.
I can do this thing.
P.S. I found the “laundry” image for my post’s header on this cool site, Right On Walls. Check it.