"Our most ancient metaphor says life is a journey. Memoir is travel writing, then, notes taken along the way, telling how things looked and what thoughts occurred. . . .This is the traveler who goes on foot, living the journey, taking on mountains, enduring deserts, marveling at the lush green places...as a pilgrim, seeking, wondering." -Patricia Hampl

May 09, 2010

Moms' Daze

It's my second Mother's Day, and I've been trying to supress the urge to cry all day. (Really, all week.) I have a natural tendency to be weepy, but today was the perfect storm of all things that might bring me to tears. I thought I'd write. And sure, I know I haven't written a lick here since March--but more on this in a moment. Read on.

The water works started sometime last week. Heath was out of town for the second week in a row; Devi was being her lovable and 15 months-going-on-adolescent self; and the ungraded stack of essays at school had piled high enough on my desk to be level with my neck. I was a little overwhelmed. No time for blogging; forget about returning phone calls on time or responding to Facebook messages. (Here's where honest writing is hard to do, because I know my dear and loving husband is going read this and say, why are you writing this?)

So overwhelmed, that I'd maintained my composure enough to seem somewhat together at school--had some excellent class discussions, even, without managing a thought about the chaos awaiting me outside the room--even had the staff at the daycare, my in-laws, and even my mom, who always just knows, convinced I was fine. Just fine. Until Heath called. Then, I became a complete, meltdown nightmare. When I heard myself say, out loud, Do you know how hard this is?!? that I had to quietly admit to myself that I was totally out of line (and, I might add, I had to admit that I have absolutely no idea how all my single mom friends do what they do on a daily basis).

My temporary insanity on the phone also stemmed from some weird, deep-seeded fear that our pediatrician would be chewing me out the next day at Dev's checkup. What if I hadn't given her enough vegetables? What if I'm not reading to her enough? What if she's watched one minute too much of Elmo's World? What if I've somehow compromised her development in some way I don't know--in short, WHAT IF I'M NOT A GOOD MOM?

I don't know how Heath managed to calm me down. But he did. And when we got off the phone, I felt horrible. I'm a fishwife.

The pediatrician, it turns out, was very happy with Devi's development, and left the office smiling. I was as relieved as I can remember being when I passed the GRE's. I don't know why I anticipated the checkup more as an assessment of my parenting than my kid's health, but this is the sort of thing that gets into the mind of a tired, perhaps overworked, and (here goes) pregnant, hormonal, mom.

Yep. We're expecting again, in September, and we're told it's a boy (a boy!). This pregnancy has been pretty smooth, thank goodness, but there is no exhaustion that can rival the gestational kind (unless, I think, you're ambling, directionless, in the Sahara at high noon). The obvious variable is the little girl in the room who's tugging at my pant leg to sing Frere Jacques one more time while I'm trying to get from the fridge to the sink in the hopes of making something resembling dinner. The hormones have really had their way with me, like that diminuitive, snickering Boris Badenov. I love being pregnant, and am so thankful for the ease of the conception (after what we'd experienced in ttc Devi) this time around. But the hormones are downright nasty, sneaky, unpredictable.

Heath insisted he put together a Mother's Day brunch for the moms in our family, despite his being out of town until Friday evening.
And somehow, not only did he make a beautiful brunch, but he created some funky, sushi-inspired rolls out of mango origami wraps, and baked a banana tartin from a recipe he'd seen in transit on a flight (see photos). And in addition to bringing home fresh flowers with the bagels he picked up this morning, he also somehow made a really adorable coupon/picture book (from Devi), for things like hundreds of hugs and kisses, and a card that said everything just right that (you guessed it) brought me to tears.

Tonight, after bathing and story time, we put Dev to bed, and as she curled herself around her favorite bear blanket, lay down for a minute. The quiet and our being together was the antithesis of the chaos of the past couple of weeks. Heath wanted to show me this ad that a colleage of his had shown during one of the presentations on his business trip, and admitted that he, too, had gotten a little weepy last week--the commercial just reminded him of our little girl and how fast she's growing.

So if I'm crying this week, it's maybe one part tired to two parts happy. Happy, thankful, a splash of sentimental with the appreciation for just how beautiful life is, whether or not the baby eats her veggies.