Diapers, strollers, midnight feedings and burping pads. Bottles, pacifiers, walkers and safety gates. Pre-school, first day tears (mama and baby), learning all about jealousy and practicing to share; then 13 years of school if you count kindergarten, and all the lessons in between. Lost loves, lost house keys, (everybody in town should now have a key) lost tennis shoes and homework. Rushed lunch hours delivering forgotten lunches, gym clothes and football mouth pieces. School programs at 7pm, and a dirty shirt found in the corner that has 40 minutes to be washed and dried so it can be worn to match the rest of the class.
Women know from the minute they become pregnant that their lives are about to change for a long,long time. We know that we will no longer have a real name at home; we will be answering to the moniker of Mama 24/7, or listening to the man who used to call us: Baby, Sweetie, or aghast, even our name, now saying repeatedly, “Go ask your Mama”.
We know we will no longer experience a restful night, a sit down meal that doesn’t include eating a bite here and a bite there and probably never really cleaning our plate. We accept that the washer will never be empty again and that because of all the distractions of motherhood, the dryer will be used to re-heat just as much as it will be used to dry. We signed on for all of those things, so not only do we accept it, we welcome it, and many of us do it more than once; so that we have several staggered instances of 18 years and running, and we love every single solitary loss of sleep, minute of it.
But let me tell you why we really do all that; why we spend years wiping snotty noses, bandaging up boo-boo’s, and breaking up fusses and wrestling head locks: we do all of those things so we can grow up, find ourselves and become women again, wives again, and meaningful, thought-processing, “we can do more than cook and clean” females again.
We get everyone grown, (husbands and children alike) we teach
I had one of these magical lunches last weekend. Some girls from home came into town and we had a delicious lunch, full of laughter and conversation. But you know what’s funny about all of that freedom we had? We didn’t talk about much of anything but our kids and our husbands the whole time. Mama’s will always be Mama’s; go figure.