Tonight I Watched

Tonight I watched, waiting behind the pick-up counter at Cafe Rio with my Dad to get the goods for Dinner that night. We had made good time coming from our guitar lesson in Orem - but my Dad is like that, driving in the snow. In his element. I stood, watching the kitchen, and I thought, I miss this. The rush, the constant moving, the sounds and smells of working in a restaurant. I loved this, I thought. I remember.

Then, after conceding to my impassioned request to make a quick stop at the neighborhood grocer for donuts because I've had this intense craving for a week and a half and I just had to get it out of my system FOR THE LOVE - Dad and I stood before those glass display doors of bakery doom and picked our favorites: Pershing for Dad, Fritter for William, Maple bars for Mom and Megan (who was visiting) and chocolate cake for me. At check-out, I was greeted with a warm smile from the attractive checker, and I thought, I miss this, too. All the faces, the raw snippets of conversation, the regulars, the satisfying sounds of the register beep beeping as I carefully moved my customer's wares across the scanner. I miss that family-feeling of working as a checker in a local grocery store.

Back in the car, Dad and I talked about music. We touched on subjects of theory, concerts in the park, songs whose writing grabs and shakes the soul, the raucous friendship between Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie. I thought, I miss this. The passion for music as a craft. The desire to learn it, devour it, claim it for my own. The feeling that I had all the time and energy in the world to throw myself at it, completely.

We arrived home, and William spoke lowly to my ear, "I told the kids that you would go in and kiss them when you got back."

Seeing them so still, innocently dreaming with palms curled delicately upward and mouths slightly opened, I thought, I adore these tiny people. I delight in them more than anything I may occasionally remember from life before I was their mother.

Anything I was or wanted to be pales in comparison to how much I wanted to be - and how much I want to be - and how much I am in love with being a mother.


How much I am in love with being their mother.

I remain an artist, a musician, a writer - all parts of me. But there is no part of me that isn't permeated by these three beings who beg for snacks and stories and count my freckles with tiny fingers - as impossible as the stars in the sky. The sound of their breaths as they sleep are the beats of my heart.

They are my color.

My friend Charms asked a question on her blog that echoed my mind tonight so soundly, I found myself again writing an entire blog post in her comments section in response. It's a nasty habit.

Fill in the blank, she said:

I am a ____________ mom because_______________________________.

Here is my response:

I am a grateful mom because I have three beautiful, brilliant, good-hearted and happy children - and I am a grateful mom because right now they are sleeping sweetly.

 I am an exhausted mom because all day I've cleaned spills, fixed snacks, washed loads of laundry and dishes, chased cars, played 'baby dinosaur', read stories, taught letters, and finally - at about five o'clock - jumped through the shower when nobody was looking.

I am a jealous mom because even though I know better, I still 'peek over the fence' at other mommies who seem to find the time and energy to exercise, primp, fix elaborate and delicious meals from organic ingredients, and wear expensive and trendy clothing that has never had a child's sticky finger approach it.

I am a humble mom, because I'm learning that many, many times I have no idea what I'm doing - that I have to be a different mommy for each of my different kids - and that often, I just don't have the answers (like how to explain what a spirit is to my four-year-old).

I am a GOOD Mom, because I wage the daily war on behalf of my sweet children. I make sure their trust in me is not misplaced. I encourage their creativity, allow them to approach boundary-exploration safely, read stories to them in lots of different voices and cut their toast into car-shapes.

I am a Mom. It is my calling. My defining voice. It is in my blood, my breath, my every thought and in every waking minute of every single day.

Will you go answer the question yourself? I'm interested in your reply.


craftyashley said...

I really enjoyed that. I am a jealous Mom because of you- handling three kids so gracefully.

Charms said...

I have like 50 different things to tell you and should probably just call or send a message;

1) If I forgot to say it on fbook--Hank is the most beautiful little baby ever!!!

2) I need your pizza crust recipe ASAP.

3) I agree with Ashley--your flawless writing style puts my blog to shame.

4) I am trying to go to the Story Conference but am low on we shall see. What classes were you thinking of doing? And are you going both days?

Yep...should have sent a message.


Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Love this, stepper! Beautiful.