Saturday, 11 May 2013

Counting on the Good Days

Some days, your kids are monsters, you're out of energy and patience, and you think, Why am I doing this? Was I crazy to have kids? What was I thinking?

And some days, it all works out.

Today had the potential to go really badly. With my eldest daughter's gymnastics class, a visit to wine country and two parties to go to, we had a packed agenda with no time buffer for aligning the kids' naps (the three-year-old still naps midday, while the nine-month-old is on a two-nap schedule). "They'll nap in the car," we reasoned ambitiously. Hoping we hadn't forgotten anything important, we packed for the day like we were going on safari, with enough snacks, toys and other gear to provide for my eldest's entire daycare class.

And guess what? Everything went according to plan. We did everything we were supposed to do, the kids were well behaved and super cute, and we eventually got them fed and into bed, where they're now sleeping the sleep of the totally exhausted and overstimulated.

When you have young children, these are the days you live for. The days you feel like you've got this parenting thing under control. The days your kids make you laugh and smile, and you're so proud to tell everyone they're yours. The days that make up for all those other days, when you're at the end of your rope and it's not even noon yet.

As I watched my eldest falling asleep in her car seat while the baby slept peacefully beside her, I thought to myself, Remember this. Tomorrow might be a different story; they might drive you crazy; they might be cranky and tired and out of sorts...

But today was a good day.
The kind of day that makes it all worthwhile.


Friday, 10 May 2013

Another Hard Mother's Day

I thought it would get easier over time, knowing that my mother wouldn't be around. And most of the time, it is. I go through most days not even thinking about the fact that she's not here; that she's missing my baby learning to crawl, or my three-year-old learn to count to twenty. Most of the time, I can just live my life without thinking about the fact that my mother isn't here to witness it.

But there are certain days where I can't ignore it. Days that are circled in bright red marker in my mind: Christmas, my birthday, my daughters' birthdays.

And of course, Mother's Day.

Last year was the worst, happening just a few months after my mom died. The pain was so fresh that I couldn't really face it. I even went so far as to buy her a Mother's Day card. Ridiculous, right? Who buys a greeting card for a deceased person?

This year, I was doing better. I've come to accept the fact that my mom isn't here anymore, even though it still hurts to think about it.

And then, my three-year-old sees a photo of my mom holding her as a baby and asks, "Who's that?"

That's your Nana, baby girl. Your Nana, who would have adored having tea parties with you, and baking cookies with you, and buying you presents. Your Nana, who looked at you when you were born with such tenderness—the first grandchild, the special one. 

Your Nana, my mother, who I miss so very much. Who, with your short time together, you've already forgotten.

Now I'm a mother to two beautiful girls, so Mother's Day is my holiday too. I can't take my mom out for lunch or buy her a gift, but I will cherish the clay hand print that my eldest made for me at daycare.

And I will get to hear her say, "I love you, Mommy."

I only wish I had one more chance to say the same thing.