Wow!...I’m a mother!... I can’t believe it!....I still feel so…childish...........
How did this wonderful little person now standing in her crib looking at me while I type and saying “Me, Me, Me” while pointing at her chest come to, well, me?
Hold on I have to take care of “me”
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Wow. Having a child is so much responsibility. I never thought I could love anyone this much. Luckily for Romeo, Juliet wasn’t a single mom. (Unfortunately for Juliet, she wasn’t.)
I’m a single mom and having a child has opened me up to the meaning of “huge responsibility”. (So unreal in its bigness and depth I need to put it in air quotes.) As a single mom I don’t have a fallback. If anything happens to me, well, Penelope wouldn’t have a parent in that sense of the word. She doesn’t have a daddy she sees with everyday like she sees me. So with great responsibility, comes great compromise. I moved from NY to make sure she grows up knowing the rest of her family and, with that, knows that others love her a lot too. She sees her grandma everyday and her aunts and cousins a few time a week. Insurance? Assurance?
Of course, being a single mom has a lot of positives. When I’m home and she’s not sleeping, she has my undivided attention so she gets s lot of “me” time. And there’s never any debate what’s best for her. Mommy knows best and it will always be mommy knows best. And mommies (normal mommies, I can think of a lot of exceptions too but the exceptions don’t fit into this column, Joan Crawford) do know best, don’t they?
And this mother’s day, unlike last mother’s day (our first) , she can say ma-ma! Of course, she calls her grandma mama and her music teacher and a few other people as well, but I know one of those mamas is for me.
How’s a single mom to celebrate? Penelope and I are celebrated with my mom, my sister and her 2 kids and my other sister and her one kid, and their husbands. We went to brunch at place that doesn’t mind mess and noise. It will be a while before we work up to those places that gives moms a real rose.
I think back to what a single mom friend of mine used to do on mother’s day. She’d take me to Bloomingdale’s with her 6-year old daughter and give her $30. Then she’s say go with Auntie Aimee and she will help you get a gift for me. So I’d walk around the store with her daughter and let her choose things she thought her mom would like. Boy, did her kid have great taste – nothing she chose, even from the sale rack, was less than $60. Granted NYC Bloomingdale’s never shows up on frugal shopper pick lists. At the end of the day, meaning in about an hour and a half, tired of saying no, tired of putting things back on the rack, I’d say yes, those (they might as well have been Manolo Blahnik) shoes were indeed $30. Then I’d pitch in the rest of the money.
What I wanted from my daughter is an extra hour to sleep in the morning. Please, Penelope, wake up at 8am just on Mother's Day. But I laugh, even if she divinely receives word to let mom “sleep in”, the cat will not receiving the same messages.
But at 7 in the morning, when she is standing in her crib looking at me with that big “change me now” grin on her face, happy to see me, happy for me to see her, I realize I wouldn’t change any part of this scene for the world. This wonderful moment and ones like it -- and there are many -- have brought me the gift of understanding: what it means for someone to say a smile or a hug is gift enough. And her kisses just melt me (of course she gives more kisses to the cat, but I’ll take what I can get). I never believed in Hallmark cards, but I guess now i do. Those cliches are more poetic to me now that Shakespeare who, missing an entire target market, wrote neither play, soliloquy nor poem about a healthy mom daughter relationship that I'd want to email to friends tomorrow.
I can’t believe she is mine. And, for the literal minded, she’s not mine in the sense that I own her. She’s mine as in my daughter.
I get all mushy knowing I can say that.
Happy Mother’s Day for years to come to all you moms out there too!!!