Monday, July 18, 2011

466. Motherhood Is A Skyscraper

Skyscrapers are designed by brilliant, visionary architects with massive talent. In an athletic feat of triumph over gravity, impressive skyscrapers wishfully reach to touch the clouds, kiss angels, and if they’re lucky, meet God. Conversely, they also inspire people to jump.

My children are brilliant. They go to the library once a week to check out as many books as they can carry. This is all part of my vision to get them into Harvard on a full-ride scholarship.

I am now an architect of time. I design schedules for our minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years. I plan the swim lessons, art camps, theme-park vacations, grocery trips, playdates, Target jaunts, doctor’s appointments, and toy store excursions. No spare second can be given away without prior approval from me. Some might call this “being a control-freak,” luckily, I realize this is just code for “clever.”

My vision has improved since having children. I can see things behind me (Oreos snuck from the jar), above me (baseball right before it falls on my head), three rooms away (lost homework or soccer uniform), or even in the dark with my eyes shut (a sleep-walking child). Even though I never needed glasses before, now I could guest-star on some sort of mommy game show and win thousands of dollars for my talent.

My children have athletic feet. They are pretty good at soccer, and if this whole Harvard merit scholarship falls through, we can always go for the sports scholarship instead.

Motherhood is one giant triumph after another. It is a triumph to remember where we hid all the library books, a triumph to buy the right birthday present for the right gender (who knew that the fellow-kindergartner-Kane could be a girl’s name and that the Star Wars light saber my younger son picked out for Kane might not be the ideal gift after all), a triumph to train my child not to wet his bed at night, a triumph to do yesterday’s dishes by tomorrow, a triumph to make cupcakes for the whole class, a triumph to not let the uncontrollable crying get to me (my husband’s crying, or sometimes my own), a triumph to drive to the drug store before they close, a triumph to work out at to the gym more than once a decade. Sometimes I am all triumphed out.

Gravity. See “triumph,” above. On second thought, see “delete latest photos of mommy at pool party” (note to self: never go to a pool party if you haven’t been to the gym in a while. Scratch that: never go to a pool party ever).

I am impressed that other mommies look like they have rehearsed this whole I-know-what-I-am-doing-and-I-am-very-good-at-it shtick. How I wish that I were one of them.

Motherhood is a giant clouda cloud of perpetual confusion, dust, chaos, raw emotion, dirty laundry, and shiny pennies (any mother knows that parents have already spent all their dollars, and that pennies are all that remain, which is really fortunate considering that small children inevitably have a fetish for hurling coins into wishing fountains found at the mall).

Mothers pray to angels for guidance and patience daily. Sometimes hourly.

Luck has everything to do with motherhood: lucky the ankle was sprained and not broken, lucky that he is not allergic to bee stings, lucky that the nice neighbor next door babysits, lucky that swimsuits were on sale this week. If luck were a color, my life is a prism in bright sunlight casting rainbows on every surface (or maybe that’s just more dust).

Motherhood is God. There are great moments when I gaze adoringly at my slumbering children, and witness the face of the divine universe smiling back at me.

Some people might jump off the skyscraper that is motherhood, but I choose to jump in.

(“Motherhood Of Vision”)


  1. This took me a long time to write! Why no commenters?

  2. I know! Crazy! I think it is pretty good, well not as bad as your worst stuff anyway.

  3. Yeah, it was sort of good. okay, you want the honest opinion? I noticed you are not giving away free stuff. That kind of sucks.

  4. I do not make enough money to give away free stuff. I am an unpaid writer. Here, have a letter "q", I don't need it. Actually, you can even have a whole word: angst. No, actually, I need to keep that one. Here, take aleatoric. I don't think I need it one anymore. See? You just won a new word! Lucky!

  5. Hi Mov,
    I found your blog from Pie Near Woman and I love the way you write about parenthood and life.I'm trawling my way through your old posts. I'm a mum of two boys in Sydney. I seem to have started writing like a robot. Better go.

  6. Thanks, Jen. Welcome to my blog! Hope you like my last 12 months of ramblings. Thank you for your nice compliment. I have been to Sydney several times (from my flight attendant days) and loved every minute of it. Hope you keep reading here!



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