October 2, 2014
Blog Day #3.
I’m still here! Although still clueless about how to drive people to website so that distinction and literary greatness get nominated for future writing awards. (Oh – and to be clear. I am very happy to have people read these words of wisdom ANYWHERE – but according to my sources – real bloggers get read via the Internet and then shared by readers to other sources within mass media like Facebook. I obviously need a teenager to explain this to me more clearly. I just like to write. Any words of wisdom on this subject in plain English would be much appreciated.)
Regardless of this swirling issue over which buttons to push on my computer when posting – many topics are still bursting to be discussed. Today, for example, we are thinking about babies. Ooooh Babies! Much of the population goes just a little bit gooey inside at the mere thought of cooing faces, flailing legs, and toothless smiles. (The other portion of the population rears back in horror and instantly thinks poop/barf/scary little monsters. We shall choose to ignore these sorts of people today)
We are thinking of babies because the miracle of birth occurred amongst my family yesterday. My brilliant and beautiful niece has delivered a sister to her first daughter. The cacophony of texting and emailing noises were rampant yesterday as the drama unfolded. When one is part of an enormously large and conversant family (6 siblings, 18 nieces & nephews and multitudes of great nieces and nephews) long media threads tend to happen on a regular basis. However, the ping of a text on the day of a new addition to the family dynamic is especially clear and joyful. And lo and behold – as the news travelled through the family circle – we found out my talented and handsome nephew and his wife are expecting a baby in April! I’m beside myself with glee. Babies! Babies! Babies!
New babies make me reminiscent about my own babies. Firstly there was that utterly terrifying thought that I was actually “SOMEONE’S MOTHER”. Good heavens, what were the powers that be thinking allowing me to be “SOMEONE’S MOTHER”? There were some days I couldn’t remember if the dog had been fed and now I was supposed to be responsible in entirety for this beautiful little bundle of wrinkly skin and flailing arms that resembled Winston Churchill on one of his better days? Egads.
I remember my fear of the newborn began to wane and I got used to feeling like a dairy cow; yet there was always that slight feeling of being a character in someone else’s life. I wasn’t really someone’s Mom was I? (Oh – sidebar about the dairy cow effect – I had to call my sisters to ask them why on God’s green earth they had not warned me that I would look like Dolly Parton three days after birthing the little miracle. This is another advantage of being in a large family – there is always someone around who can answer awkward questions, or in the case of my family – start litigation.)
Days and nights became as one. I became a regular viewer of “Good Morning America” and, I’m embarrassed to say, “The View” as I spent countless hours sitting and holding a suckling infant. The terrors of labor became distant and the new terrors involved cutting minute fingernails without drawing blood and buckling car seats without pinching skin. The idea of being a mom was not repugnant – just overwhelming. It’s a hell of a lot of work and there are no days off.
Now that my little darlings are nearly a foot taller than I am, hairy and have their own distinct body odors that still rival that long ago diaper pail – there are new terrors that leave me just as horror stricken. Had I known then what parenting young adults would be like, I may well have decided that the dog would be enough. There definitely was NOT a chapter in What to Expect When You Are Expecting about the lump in your throat the first day your baby drives off on their own – driver’s license in hand or how to council your prodigy when he doesn’t make the team all his friends were selected for, or how to console your child when he loses a friend to suicide. Thankfully, the best answer is simply to just be there with open arms – something we learned when the doctor handed him to us the very first time.
When Offspring #1 was about two years old I asked my own wise Mom at about what age we stopped worrying every single minute about our children. She looked thoughtful, pursed her lips and said, “I’ll let you know.”
My guess is that right now my Mom is looking down from the heavens with a twinkle in her eye and a heart bursting with pride at her growing family. I also have no doubt that she’ll continue to fret in her Catholic mom way about each and every one of us; however, joy and love will triumph over anxiety and worry, a lesson she taught us well.