Sunday, May 13, 2007

Fun Gus

My husband is in Germany and I’m celebrating mother’s day solo, with my two beautiful children. They’re beautiful but sick. It’s been this way for four days. Henry has a horrible, seal cough and throws up every time he eats. I think he’s lost some of his robust 26.5 lbs. Abby is severely constipated and her stomach hurts most of the day. So I’ve spent my days leading up to mother’s day administering Milk of Magnesia, monitoring poop frequency and consistency and sitting on the floor while the pooping happens. I’ve also been cleaning up vomit during each meal. Appetizing.

After an early morning, special run to the drive-thru Starbucks, Abby wanted to go see something in the front yard. I looked out on her, still in her jammies, golden hair glowing in the morning sun. She was picking something in the yard—“oh,” I think, “how sweet. She’s picking me some small wild flowers. A mother’s day bouquet.” I sneak inside so I won’t spoil her surprise.

She walks in and says, “Mommy, look!”

I do.

She’s holding a bouquet of nasty, disgusting fungus. Mushrooms harvested from our own front yard. I hate mushrooms. Despise them. They make me gag and creep me out.

She holds out the offensive offering and wants a vase for them. Luckily, I had to put Henry down for his nap so had to delay this next step. They’re now patiently waiting on the back patio for a place of honor, until Abby remembers they’re there (or forgets that they’re there…)

Ultimately, it’s fitting that I’m spending mother’s day being a mother, in the truest, rawest form. Taking care of the two loves that grant me the opportunity to be a Mom, Mommy, MammmmmmMa. A dream that wouldn’t yet be realized if Abby and Henry weren’t here.

A big nod to my parents and grandparents and Brian’s parents and grandparents, and all of their parents before them. If it weren’t for each of our families, neither he nor I would be here. Neither would Abby or Henry. It’s a sobering thought. How many mothers have come before me, making our journey possible? Cherishing the uncherishable, even fungus bouquets.

Friday, May 11, 2007

11 Months Old

I watch my sweet son, Henry. I see him drawn to every thing that isn’t safe and is a potential hazard. So, I spend a lot of time attempting to redirect his attention. From Abby's bouncing, curly hair to a soft stuffed animal. From the electric cord to the Leap Frog table. From the remote control to a fake phone. From dog poop to a bottle of Clorox.

Sometimes he goes with the flow. Most times he screams and tears plummet down his chubby cheeks (not sure how the tears get out of his eyes when they’re clenched shut). Many times I am amazed at how angry he gets. But tonight, I had a moment of clarity. I imagined I was an 11-month-old Henry.

I sit on the floor, drooling happily, playing with and exploring a great new thing I found. I crawled 100 feet to get to this amazing thing and even though my knees are well padded, they’re sore from the trip. Anyway, I’m chewing on it, staring at it, crinkling it and having a grand time. Then, I see the long legs and hear the voice of Mommy. Based on the look she gives me, she’s about to take away my discovery. So, I do what every smart baby in my place would do. Sprint (i.e. crawl really, really fast).

Alas, she is faster than me (did I mention the long legs?) and she takes away my fabulous thing. I am pissed. Since I haven’t mastered my vocabulary yet, I scream. That’ll get her attention. GIVE IT BACK!!!!!!!!!!!! What did I do to her?

Can you imagine how ticked you’d be if someone came along and took your recently-aquired fun activity away? Imagine sitting on the back deck, reading a book. Cool breeze. Just as the second page sucks you in, your spouse/friend/partner/significant other/neighbor rips the book from you and replaces it with an astronomy book, written in Arabic.

So. Since moments of clarity are not as forthcoming as I’d like, I’m going to embrace my epiphany and try to see the world through my sweet Henry's eyes more often. (And I’m also going to remember that he really does spend a lot of time looking at, hanging onto and crawling up and over my legs. I should probably shave them a little more often.)