Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Summer I Fell in Love

...With Being a Mom.

It came to me the other day in a moment of reflection about this almost-over-summer. This summer was the summer I fell in love with being a Mom. Better late than never. Maybe you fell in love with being a Mom when your baby was born...
I didn't. I was scared. I loved my child, don't get me wrong, when I saw my child I was bewildered with the feelings of wonder, love, protectiveness, fascination and fear. As my baby grunted, cooed, gurgled, nuzzled, yawned and sighed, I fell in love over and over again, but I was not in love with who I was.
I was fearful and quick to anger. If you so much as sneezed around my baby, I tensed and twitched. I became analytical and annoying about the dangers that could befall my child. I was a Debbie Downer (see Saturday Night Live), Paranoid Hermit and a Tiger Mom all in one. I can't say I was much fun.
I didn't exactly charm anyone or delight myself.

Something monumental shifted this summer. This summer I rearranged the molecules of my being. I created the possibility of being The Gateway to Adventure! and inside of that possibility everything shifted. A new realm of possibilities opened up and my world became an opportunity rather than something to survive. Each day became a blank slate to create with my children...and create we did! volcanoes, puppets, musical instruments, clay huts, science projects, and art galore. When I was cleaning or planning to manage the house and our adventures, each moment that they interrupted me with a book to read or story about their lego creation became a sacred moment of sharing.
I did not send them off to summer camp to "get a break from them". I joined them and volunteered and got to be a part of their adventures. This was a huge breakthrough for me. The freedom is like my soul sighing a sense of relief after finding it's home.

I got that I GET TO be The One. The ONE to be there when they are sad, mad or frustrated. Not to fix it, but to get them, to hear their soul speaking and validate their woes. I GET TO be The One to create spontaneity and delight in a moment's notice with a game of tag at the beach or crushing a sand castle. I GET TO Be The One to clap and applaud their piano playing in their underwear and ohhh and ahhhh at their castles made with tunnels of coach pillows. I GET TO be The One to wipe their tears when they cut their head from falling off the bike they just learned to ride (even with the helmet) and later, post staples, to support them in getting back on.

Being a Mom used to be the hardest job in the world, (sigh, sputter, groan) something my husband didn't understand and my Mom friends, although they understood, were too busy with their own trials and tribulations to be of much support to me. I bared it all myself and most of my communications to my husband were complaints that he "needed to hear" or else I would feel invalidated and grumpy for days. Now it's different. It's not that it's not challenging. The kids still resist eating when I make then food and pester me for food when I am trying to fold laundry, but inside of being The Gateway to Adventure, new actions show up, like folding laundry at night while I watch a romantic drama movie ( my kind of adventure) and planning a trip to the Pepper Tree grove for a hike and bringing a picnic lunch. During that adventure they are having too much fun to bug me for food and when we do eat with friends they really get it's time to eat and they do. There is no space for hard when you are having fun. And complaints just don't show up when you are sharing the adventures with your husband. You know what does show up? Connection and romantic adventures! wink wink...the surprise bonus:) Quite delightful.

This summer I created instead of survived. I share my joy in hopes to connect with other Moms who may notice their joy more through reading this.I took my kids off the "To Do" list, like What do I do with them? And become a being of creativity. My boys in turn, got something priceless. They got me. A mother who is not just there for them, but wants to be there for them and gets her value of being there for them. I am present, caring, creative, engaged and endearing. My heart celebrates with Moms who get this, you have inspired me for years. My heart aches for all Moms to have this relationship, not just with their kids, but with themselves. I wish for all Moms to know to the core of their being that their presence, creativity and attention is the greatest gift they can give their family. Them. Exactly the way they are. There is nothing to fix or better way to be but to be present. Be curious. And in being all about them, you get all of yourself. You get the immense gift that YOU are to the world.
You. Mom.

Zen Honeycutt

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