I was probably twenty-six when I finally came to terms with being a mother. Indeed, I had already been a mother for five years at this point. However, I had never really felt accustomed to nor embraced fully what all motherhood meant. Responsibility. Patience. Love for someone more than myself. In fact, I had only began to love myself after a difficult childhood and also was learning to love my newly wed husband when I first became pregnant one snowy and very windy winter in Wyoming.
Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be a mother. Perhaps I knew this because it was ingrained into my mind that getting married and having children was what all grown-up girls did. It would never cross my mind until I had children of my own that not all women want to or can be mothers of little baby humans. In fact, sometimes I think that if I knew then what I know now, then I'd only be the mother of little doggies.
I mean, there's stinky diapers, multiple late night feedings, nipples that need soothing and bottles that need washing. Then when those little crying creatures get older it's all about the no privacy, the mounds of laundry that need washing, and the fact that you can't get one darn thing done because the kid is either whining, crying or all of the above and God forbid in the middle of Walmart. Let's not even mention the perfect little angels that loved spaghetti from Yours Truly last week, but would now rather hide it behind the refrigerator.
Not that I didn't do that when I was a child myself. I guess it's payback time.
When I was a little girl I used to be sneaky about hiding my vegetables. I was so good that I ended up being malnourished. Well partly I think that was because we were poor, but regardless I was a good food magician. Then the bad news came from the doctor: I was iron deficient. The doctor's cure? Liver and vegetables. This doctoral solution when I was five is probably the reason I dislike doctor's orders even to this day.
And also why I haven't been to one in five years. I'm such a naughty girl.
So when I wasn't licking my napkin with my tongue to get the nasty liver taste off of it, then I was stuffing green beans down my shorts and then hightailing it to the restroom to flush them all down the toilet. My parents were oblivious to my vegetable hiding until one day when I excused myself to use the restroom and step by step the green beans began to drop out. I was almost to the restroom that lay on the other side of the trailer house we lived inside of in Denton, Texas when my mother called me back to the table. I never put food in the pants again. I soon found out hiding them in a glass of milk doesn't work either.
Which is why my kids are so screwed when it comes to dinnertime because I really do know all the tricks to the dinner table.
So, when I was twenty-seven years old I finally came to terms with being a mom for the first time in my life. When before I looked at motherhood as being a chore and something I wasn't ready for and felt was thrust upon me, I finally changed my mind. I didn't suddenly begin to love my kids--I already did very much. I didn't suddenly become patient with them--just a little bit. I didn't suddenly even want to hug on them and kiss them every minute--dude, one of them smells like crap every single cotton pickin' day. None of them even listen to me. Mostly, I realized I was too old to play with my food anymore and so I just quit wanting to hide it.
Since having decided to be a mother and grown-up, I now love being around each of my children a whole lot more. Well except when they break dishes throwing them down the stairs and the youngest wipes his rear on yet another one of my bath towels and then hangs it back up for me the dry my hair off with. That's when I go hide in the closet. After taking another shower.
And honey, the closet is a very nice place to be.
PS: I still hate liver.