Being in therapy is helping me notice what motherhood is teaching me. Emotional things. The other stuff: how to hold eight things with two fingers, open a car door with your chin, and put a diaper on a baby who is simultaneously climbing the blinds above her changing table and chewing on her handmade turtle mobile…that is kind of happening without me thinking about it overly much.
The emotional stuff is both more obvious and more sneaky. Little changes in my emotional temperature (I meant to say temperament, but temperature is right on). Like being very rooted in the present, because NOW is pretty much all I can handle. Accepting limits to my energy, ability, and schedule: check. Letting it just be what it is: yep. Do I have any choice?
I used to take pride in being a pessimist/realist. My sister and I have a joke. Some people say the glass is half full, some say it is half empty. We say: sometimes THERE IS NO GLASS. Sometimes the glass is lost. Broken. Incapable of holding liquid. Unavailable for reasons unknown.
The other day (in & after therapy) I found myself uttering strange words. I said: maybe everything is ok. Like really, for-reals ok, not just “ok-for-now” or “ok-until” or “ok-if.” I talked about how life is beautiful, the bitter-sweet magic of it. I said that perhaps expecting dire consequences is something I was trained into. I always thought pessimism was hard-wired into my cells, a pervasive mitochondrial cynicism.
But now, with this mommy path I’m on, I wonder.
I have graham cracker paste caked in my hair. The cat’s food was combined with sippy cup water to make stew and is congealing at the foot of the stairs. Every single kleenex in the box (how do they fit so many in there?) has been ripped and scattered across the floor in a blizzard of downy soft goodness.
And I’m good. I mean, mostly. (Except when I’m watching the clock and texting my wife to find out just exactly how bad traffic might be on the Banfield.)
But I’m way better than I expected.
All I have to do is look at her face. (Ok, sometimes I have to look twice. But that’s about it.)
I look at our daughter’s face and feel it roll over me like a sneaker wave, a surging tide of exasperation and joy that realigns my priorities while pinning my face firmly to the glittering, suffocating sand. The metaphor’s a bit faulty but you see what I mean: this being with her, being her mom, it’s what matters.
Sometimes the momblogoverse can seem like a contest: for the most disgusting mishap involving excrement, the most sentimental epiphany of it’s-all-worth-it, all rolled into one god-awful-awe-inspiring day. I don’t like that competitive feeling but I do deeply appreciate the invitation to write in nap-long (20-minute) or wow-she’s-still-sleeping-type-faster (45-minute) increments. Writing and reading and commenting nourishes me, even if the majority of my comments never get published because laptop-buttons-are-irresistible-i-MUST-push-them-and-also-chew-on-the-cord is happening.
Therapy is a lot like blogging. I get to notice how I’m doing.
And lately, shockingly, I am noticing all the good stuff.
Know what’s weird? I have a glass. With disgusting baby back wash in it and no ice because someone ate/lost/relocated my ice. But still, a glass. I have a glass.
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What’s good in your life? I love hearing from you!