A Mommy, A Woman Too

I realized, the other night, when my almost six-year-old son put his arm around me, pulled me close to him and gently pat my shoulder, that I do not write much (at least lately) about being a mom.  But, that is such a large part of who I am.  A huge part.  Fundamental.  A mom.

Today I am babysitting my gorgeous, fun-loving, one-and-a-half-year-old niece while we are waiting for my nephew to get his first glimpse of this beautiful, frightening world. Bless him, that sweet little boy.  He is spending his last moments in utero “laying in a hammock” as my brother-in-law put it, stubbornly breech as my sister awaits a C-section.

Right now, I am listening, over the baby monitor, to my niece fuss and whine and even screech a little as she is having trouble getting to sleep.  I am instantly taken back to the days when my own stubborn little boy refused to sleep.  I am taken back to bouncing and bouncing and bouncing on an exercise ball in hopes that he would eventually surrender.  I am taken back to holding his hand through the crib bars while he clutched my finger begging with his babble and screams for me to pick him up.  I am especially taken back to a night when I blogged about us letting him cry it out for a seemingly sadistic amount of time until he gave in to slumber and I toasted to silence.

 When my son was smaller, and before our marriage fell apart, I used to write incessantly about motherhood—about the sharp dichotomy about parenting communities and parental judgments, about my husband dressing our son like Liberace, about trying to feel sexy while salsa dancing but being completely stifled by feeling my milk let down, and about me being my son’s first true love.  Now, it seems, I write about me, me, me– about my wide hips, about my fractured self, and about finding out who I am again.  I don’t know if, perhaps, I have distanced myself from this motherhood thing, not in terms of caring for and loving my son (I think I do a pretty damn good job in that department), but in terms of personal inspiration. I am seeing myself outside of my role as a mother as or because I am no longer a wife, which, I think, is probably a good thing—divvying out a self, apart from the huge responsibilities of momhood, that also needs attention.

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A Woman Young (More thoughts on perception & attractiveness)

“Enjoy the last day of your mid-thirties!” ~ My Sister

So, tomorrow is my 36th birthday—a birthday I considered no different than any other until my youngest sister gave me a piece of torn notebook paper (serving as a birthday card) with a hand-drawn mountain surrounded by angry ravens labeled “The Hill” and a stick figure climbing it labeled “You.”

Just prior to receiving this lovely tidbit of birthday joy, I was still high off of a conversation I had had a few days prior:

Me and a 23-year-old co-worker:

“You know, I really, well sometimes, okay most of the time, still think I’m just like you girls.  I mean I feel like I’m still that young.  I even sort-of trick myself into thinking I look that young too.”

“Well, yeah, that’s awesome.  Plus it’s all in how you feel.”

“Yeah, well, I turn thirty-six on Tuesday and I feel great.  I’m like [insert hip dance moves and an I-still-got-it grin].”

“Thirty-six?!? No way! I thought you were still in your late twenties or, at most, your early thirties…”

“Yessss! You totally know what I mean then.”

When I relayed this conversation to my sister, post card opening (if you can call a piece of torn paper a card), she just looked at me very dead-pan and said “She was lying.”

Lying?  No. No, no, no, no.

I’m still in the prime of my youth, right? Right?

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