Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Locks of Hair

I love Henry's tow-head curls. I love how the sun dances on his golden locks. I love the Sqiggy hair-do (thank you Laverne & Shirley) he gets at the pool when he comes up from being under water. Every time I cut Henry's hair and watch the golden locks drift to the ground, I get this panic in my belly. What irrational brain function makes me feel that it might be sane to save EVERY cut strand of his hair from now until he's 18? Why is it so hard to throw these precious pieces of hair away? I don't have any problem throwing away nail clippings (thank goodness). Do I think that a keepsake box of his hair will forever hold his sweet, little boy smell and that I could open that box and inhale deeply, soaking up his scent?

Or is it that I hate to waste anything that is so essentially him?

It's probably this same brain activity that lead me to my firm (and not so sound decision) to continue washing Henry's clothes with baby detergent well after the statute of limitations had passed on this "requirement". That scent was so him, so luscious baby boy, that I couldn't withhold such a lovely bouquet from my mommy olfactories. (Even though he's now two, I just recently bought another bottle of the detergent so I can occasionally wash his clothes in sweet memories. Don't tell my pragmatic husband.)

It really is about the memories. I worry that I won't remember. I don't ever want to loose the image of Henry dutifully looking into my eyes as we discuss the whys of the world. I don't want to forget the feel of his clean, chubby cheek and just-washed, damp hair again my neck. However odd it may seem, I will continue to grimace each time I have to toss his golden locks, and with it his shrinking infanthood. Luckily, you can all exhale knowing there is NOT a box hidden in my attic holding all of Henry's hair trimmings. Instead, I will rejoice in knowing that all of his essence is locked within, and that it will journey with him through the decades. I know that in twenty-some years, when he's relaying some powerful life occurrence, I will again look into those same eyes, see the same dancing golden hair and maybe, if I'm still, catch a whiff of my sweet, little boy.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Our day was filled with bliss.

I remained calm.
Henry listened.
Abby rose like a shining star and filled the holes left by my deficiencies with distractions and fun for her brother.

I didn't yell--not even once.
Henry only visited time-out TWICE (that's an 80% reduction in misbehavior from yesterday!)
Abby closed the door from the house to the garage without a reminder. !!!

We still lived with two-year-old and four-year-old behavior (both the ugly and the pretty) and we still experienced rough spots. But, as usual, the emery board of distance and perspective came along and smoothed away the jagged edges of the previous four days.

Good night.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I am a good mom.
I am a good mom.
I am a good mom.

Even though I fed my kids hot dogs, peanut butter sandwiches and frozen veggies for dinner, I am a good mom.

Even though my children's nails and finger prints mark the inside of the front door from when I left the house in a horrid huff and escaped to the front porch and they tried desperately through crocodile tears and cries to get outside to me, I am a good mom.

Even though I was sure that if I heard yet another cry or whine I might forever begrudge myself for the awful thoughts I had, ("Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP! I CAN'T STAND IT ANYMORE! I'm going to punch the wall if you follow me around crying much longer! I'm going to vomit if I have to hear your mopey-mope-mope about NOTHING for another moment. STOP ITTTTT!!!!"), I am a good mom.


I am a good mom.
I am a good mom.
I am a good mom.

Even though I feel like a cruel, heartless dictator at times, I am a good mom.

Even though I open snacks at the store and feed them to my always-hungry children before I've even paid for said snacks, I am a good mom.

Even though I thought I might hurl the riding Mater ("My name's Mater. Kinda Like "Tuh-mater"... but without the "tuh" ") out the window if I had to step over his inconvenient parking spot one more time, I am a good mom.

Even though I had to ask Abby to turn off her closet light for the 53rd time, and had to ask Henry to stop hitting for the 276th time, I am a good mom.

Even though today I was not so sure that I'm a good mom, I am a good mom.

For all those things I didn't do and the many seemingly perfunctory tasks I did do, I am a good mom.

I admitted today that motherhood is many hours, and days, of not so pleasant stretches. Today, just today, after five years of parenthood, I realized this? Yes. With a large dose of honesty, frustration, exhaustion and blunt observation, yes. I'm allowing the dark side of mommyhood out of the guilty corners of my brain. Being a parent is eternally hard. Each of us has a different journey, some exponentially harder than others. My trying day might sound like a snooze in a lazy hammock to you. Although our paths differ, I believe that there is universality in the raw emotions evoked by parenthood.

Thankfully, these long stretches and dark emotions are punctuated by sweet hugs, snuggles, gleeful smiles, secrets, kisses and epiphanies. By the dusk-illuminated eyelashes of a child mesmerized by a book. Yes, there are many days that are epically better than this one.

I am a good mom because I love my children even when, well, even when today happens.

I am a good mom because I had to soak up LOTS of bath water from the floor and thought, "well, now I don't have to mop."

I am thankful that bedtime has passed, all children are fed, clean and slumbering in their beds, and I am on the other side of this day. I will continue to repeat my Momtra,

I am a good mom.
I am a good mom.
I am a good mom.