For the most part, I manage to get strawberry jam on my elbow at least five days of the week. Well, that's not entirely true, there are days when it's cream cheese. And every single time, it still surprises me that it's there. Somehow it is so easy for me to leave home with half of my bra strap on, with my grade one hairstyle (that side ponytail) and that bright turquoise toothpaste hanging from the side of my hair. I can always count on it to dry up by lunchtime. After noticing that initial moment where I stopped remembering how to match my clothes, I thought to myself, "Am I losing coordination?"
But that was hardly the case. I now know it is the art of being a mother. It is the only place you can discover true beauty when you reveal poop on your baby's back. It's the only period of your life where you make vital shortcuts and depend on them like oxygen.
I love what Darlene Brock, author of Help Wantedwrote:
"It was then I realized this motherhood thing is not merely one job. Mothers are not just 'Mom.' They fulfill a variety of positions and responsibilities. We are required to be Coach, Academic Advocate, Professor of Gender Studies, Military Strategist, and so much more; we must brainstorm, create, figure out, simplify, organize, protect, and encourage. And like many of you, I had to do all of this while fulfilling another job outside the home."
After the births of both my children, I learned from all the burnt leftovers on my plate that all mothers gain much more coordination. The reason why there's much enthusiasm when I sing Yo Gabba Gabba tunes is because all moms truly strive for the same things.
We constantly put ourselves last in the hopes that are kids are OK -- that their sole health and happiness is the purpose of every mother's existence.
It takes much pride and bravery to wear that Lego necklace my son made. But it's a symbol of neverending love. And it's that full heart that makes us sit in a steamy bathroom for hours at a time, just so your little one can breath at ease. So what if I come out with my hair sticking to my cheeks like glue? Maybe it's about time the Ewoks made their return.
Yes it's true; visually, I stopped looking like a human. And yes, I admit I often consider a good work out to be the first four hours of my day. But we keep on going, don't we?
For all the women who have conquered this heroic venture many centuries before me, without needing a medal or Tide-To-Go, I salute you. For my own mother that never gave up and always managed to smile at me at 3 a.m., I thank you for giving me life. And for the mothers that will take on this spiritual and physical journey, my advice is that you fear not.
I can say that having a child or having children does magical wonders like that one special bra you can't live without. It's that moment when they sleep through the night, or when they learn how to write their name that you realized where you are meant to be. I am whole because of them, so fashion sense totally can wait.
I'd like to thank the creators of Crayola for always giving me something to write my grocery list with. And to my kids, Kaizen and Harlow Avery, thank you for making me a believer that all things are possible.
So, let's high-five a mom today. They deserve it.