You know how they wheel you down to the exit door of the hospital lobby after giving birth? When the nurse puts the breaks on, wishes you well and then walks away? I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, this is some racket! I’m walking out of here with this brand new baby and no one is stopping me.” (Mind you I was walking out of a hospital in Brooklyn).
A whole new chapter in my life began nearly 18 years ago. Sure, everyone gives you new parenting advice. Lord knows there’s a million “How to” books on parenting techniques. However, as I grew into the role of Mother, and I learned how it worked with my child, I realized that there is an art to being a parent.
“It’s real hard sometimes” is just a stupid thing to say. How about those times you think you will never make it through the day and there is nothing left to do but break down and cry until the light of dawn creeps into your window? Did you ever threaten to trade them in for a nice quiet cat and proceeded to call the animal shelter? I’ve often thought back to that nurse, “She must’ve been crazy. If I were her I would’ve called the cops.”
However, when all this has come and gone in your life; when you eerily find yourself with too quiet of a house and there isn’t a toddler chopping off their hair with safety scissors or smearing cerulean blue oil paint all over your light tan carpets; then it is a defining moment and you stop in your tracks. You start to feel faint and remind yourself to keep breathing because if you don’t you are going to embarrass the hell out of him with those tears welling up in your eyes.
On this day before Mother’s Day I look at my oldest child and think, “but for the grace of God and awesome parents and an army of brothers and good people and the whole darn village thing,” there goes a nice young man. That’s Edward-second from the left.
This is Olivia, one of his best friends from camp. She drove in from Westchester to go with him. It’s a very brave thing to get thrown into a group of strangers.
As I stood around taking pictures beside the parents of all these kids I couldn’t help but think how all these smiling young faces are ready to start their next chapter in life. In four weeks they will all be dressed up and smiling again as they walk down the stage to accept their diplomas. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.
And a special Happy Mother’s Day to all those women in my life who helped me mother my kids because without you my kids wouldn’t be who they are today.