Sunday, May 8, 2011

Things I'm grateful for this mother's day

• Being able to sleep until I woke up naturally (sometime around 9:30). I’d forgotten what that felt like. Then enjoying a few moments reading in bed before getting up. Wow.
• A gorgeous, sunny day with blue skies and arcs of green boughs.

• A humungous buffet meal at my favorite restaurant

• Being able to walk over six miles. Some of it strolling through gardens with the family. Much of it walking through town and along a canal with my baby.

• Feeling more confident about being able to manage both kids on my own for a whole day.

• Not being back at work yet. I spoke with a couple of colleagues who said they’ve been under pressure to put in long hours lately. I’m glad not to have that stress right now, to have a couple of months of beautiful weather in which to enjoy lots of quality time with my kids.

• My computer had a virus, so I was kept away from the internet for the weekend, which meant I couldn’t use my online calorie tracker. Oh well. Those desserts were good.

• An event-packed several days, including a visit to an outlet store and the purchase at a steep discount of several pieces of cookware I’ve been longing for, a visit to a train museum that River loved, a family photography session in the park (the only way I can get Mark to agree to an annual portrait is to ask for it for mother’s day), watching an Indian dance and painting crafts with River at a community event, and a party at a friend’s house.

• Starting to feel the possibility of a little bit of time that makes me think perhaps I can tackle at least a few of my long-overdue nesting projects before I get back to work.

• Safety and health.

• A trip to look forward to, to plan for and to hopefully generate some family memories, perhaps even for River.

• Having two sweet, healthy children and a loving, helpful spouse.

At lunch, Mark toasted me and thanked me for what I do as a mom. My eyes filled with tears as I thanked him for my wonderful family. He was never very enthusiastic about having kids and still feels he could have done without them. Yet he went along with it because it was important to me and he tries to contribute an equal share in raising them.

I was never one to aspire to marriage or parenthood. I thought it would be part of my life eventually, but it wasn’t much of a focus of my dreams until I reached my late twenties. Despite this late start, I’m so very thankful to be able to call myself a wife and mother. Yes, it comes with stresses, compromises, lack of sleep and severe limitations on freedom. Yet it has taught me to love and to open my heart to expanses I never imagined before. It has reawakened my wonder in the world and the processes within it. It has allowed me to step back from focusing on my own goals, and to derive joy from providing opportunities for my children to learn. It has allowed me to feel pride in the simple accomplishment of giving my child a safe, loving, and enriching start to life.

Happy mother’s day to all those engaged in the most important work of all.

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