I was on a zoom call last night—not with work, with my roommates from college. And they reminded me that we graduated from college 10 years ago this month.
Our lives have gone in all sorts of directions and there are hundreds of miles between us where there used to be less than 5 feet. Luckily, this is a global crisis, so we talked about that for awhile. And then, when they’d laughed at my toilet paper stockpile, the conversation turned to kids.
We talked about sleepless newborns and loquacious toddlers—about potty training and playrooms and what to do when your son is so handsome he might not face any rejection in life. And this lasted forever.
Mothers could talk about their children all day—that’s something we have in common. I’ve talked to mothers in the carpool line, me leaning into the passenger window of their cars. I’ve talked to mothers who only speak Spanish, and my language skills aren’t what they should be, but that conversation is easy to understand. Words like ‘eating’, ‘sleeping’, ‘school’, ‘shoes’…the concerns of mothers all over this planet are the same.
And yet they’re not. I’m spending Mother’s Day in a comfortable home, supported by a husband who eats whatever I make him and does whatever I ask. Other mothers aren’t. And all this time with my son and my thoughts has taught me that I can do better. I could be kinder, I could listen longer, I could explain things to my son better.
My own mother, the real star of the story of Andrew’s babyhood, once told me, “Mothers are strong. I didn’t raise a wimp.” And she’s right—in my case, refusing to become a better mother would be the act of a wimp.
My roomies in their little zoom gallery view reminded me that motherhood never stops. So yes, industry and entertainment and even Disney World have all stopped (holding back tears)…but motherhood doesn’t. And when this is really over and we can all gather, I want to know what it was like for all the other mothers.
I’ll leave you with these 2 images—my son yelling at me and falling to the floor like a limp noodle because he doesn’t want to take a bathroom break, saying “I don’t want to go to the potty! Maybe tomorrow!” And then, a few minutes later, running into the living room, attired for his morning walk—blue and yellow sweats and green dinosaur sneakers. “Mommy, I got my boat shoes on by myself! Mommy, are you happy?”
Happy Mother’s Day, quaran-team. Hey, that’s cute! I like it!