Mothers’ Moments

November 20, 2008 at 7:32 am (Published)

Published in Garden and Hearth Magazine.

 

Mother’s Moments for December, 2003.

 

We are coming up on the final days of our pregnancy.  We will soon have three children instead of two, so have been undertaking activities lately to get our older children (ages 6 and 8) as ready as possible for these changes in our family.  Part of this preparation involved watching the Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore movie, “Nine Months,” as a family.

 

The movie was funny enough, but left our 6-year-old upset because he had never previously understood that childbirth involves pain for the mother. 

 

“Mommy, are you going to scream like that when our baby is born?” Simon asked.

 

“I probably will,” I answered gently.  Simon’s eyes got as wide as pies.

 

“But I don’t want you to hurt!  I don’t like it that he’s going to hurt you!”

 

“Sweetie, that’s just part of having a baby.  It’s natural.  It’s what all Mommies do because we love our babies so much that we’ll do anything to be able to meet them, hold them, and love them.  It’s part of a Mommy’s job.”

 

After a defining silence, Simon looked up at me sadly. “Mommy,” he whispered. “Did I make you hurt when I was born?”

 

“Yes, honey.  All Mommies hurt when their babies are born.  But I’m not sad or angry at you.  I wanted you to come out and see me!  I wanted to give you your life!  And I was so happy when you were finally here!”

 

After another thoughtful pause, when I could see the gears turning in his little head, he said “Mommy…thank you for my life!” and threw his arms around me.  Maybe it’s just because I’m pregnant, but I cried…

 

Mother’s Moments for October, 2003.

 

During dinner, my husband asks me if I’ve come up with my “How To” topic for this month yet.

 

Annie, my 8-year-old, asks, “Mommy, what’s a How-To?”

 

“I write articles for a website where I show people ways to have fun doing things with their families like driving on a long car trip or going out to dinner.”

 

“Wow, neat.”

 

“But I’m having trouble coming up with a topic for this month.”

 

Simon, my 6-year-old, suggests “Maybe you can write ‘How to Get Your Kids to Clean Their Rooms.'”

 

“That’d be perfect, Simon, if I actually had any advice to offer on that subject.  Your rooms look like pig pens!”

 

“How about ‘Taking Your Kids on an Airplane?'” he asks.

 

“Well, I haven’t taken you guys on one yet.  That’ll be next year.”

 

“Well, can’t you take us on a trip so you can finish your How-To?” he pleads.

 

“How about ‘Making Your Husband Stop Snoring,'” offers Annie.  My husband looks sheepish as I explain that I have no advice to offer on that topic, either.

 

“You could make up something,” says Simon.  “You could say you tickled him and held his nose and fed him brussel sprouts and he stopped snoring forever and ever because he was afraid of more brussel sprouts.”

 

“Wow,” I answer. “Well, that’s a good idea, honey…but it’s not fair to make things up when you’re a writer who’s trying to help people.  Plus, this has to be about a thousand words long and his snoring just isn’t that interesting.”

 

“One THOUSAND words?” yells Annie.  Simon begins to count to one thousand.  “Could you just write one sentence over and over?”

 

“Well, that wouldn’t be a very entertaining article for people to read.  What sentence do you think I should repeat over and over?”  I ask her while Simon, still counting, gets up into the forties.

 

“Call the article ‘How to Go Crazy’ and just repeat ‘I don’t know how to get kids to clean their rooms or get my husband to stop snoring’ one thousand times.”

 

Mother’s Moments for September, 2003.

 

While having a girls’ outing with my 8-year-old daughter Annie in a nice restaurant, she leans across the table and asks, “Mommy, what would happen if I took off all my clothes right now and ran around NAKED?”

 

Unfazed, I answer, “They’d call the police and you’d get in trouble for something called ‘indecent exposure’ that happens when people are naked in public places.”

 

 

 

Without even looking up, she matter-of-factly says, “No I wouldn’t.  You’d get in trouble, because you’re my legal guardian.”  She goes right back to eating her pierogies.

 

 

We are at my 5-year-old nephew’s birthday party, and he is opening his presents.  When he picks up the present we brought for him, my 6-year-old son Simon tells him, “This video game is a present my other grandma gave me for my birthday but I already had it

so we saved it to give you on your birthday so we wouldn’t have to spend more money on your present.”

 

 

When eating dinner, we were pointing out to the kids how lucky they are to have their dinner because in other parts of the world, children starve.  Simon says, “Aw, that’s really sad.  Maybe we should pack up our dinners and mail them to those poor children.”

 

“SIMON!” yells Annie.  “We can’t do that!  The mailmen will eat it all up before it even gets there!”

 

Mother’s Moments for August, 2003.

 

One recent rainy afternoon, I dozed off on the couch with a book.  I stirred as little tiptoes approached, but chose not to reveal I was awake.  What I heard from 8-year-old Annie (A) and 6-year-old Simon (S) as they whispered too loudly was a moment I might have missed, had I immediately sprung awake.

 

A: SIMON!  You are going to get in soooooo much trouble if you wake Mommy up! 

 

S:  I know, An…but I just want to give her a kiss.

 

A:  You’re gonna make her upset, I’m warning you!

 

S:  I know, but I can’t help it.  She just looks so pretty when she’s sleeping and I want to kiss her.

 

A:  OK, but I told you so…

 

(Simon kisses me on the forehead.  With my eyes still closed, I smile.)

 

S:  See An!  She didn’t wake up and get mad!  She smiled, did you see it!  That means she likes my kisses.

 

A (as the two walk away):  Well, OK.  But *I* still think your kisses are GROSS.

 

S:  Well, OK yourself.  But you just forgot to whisper, and now YOU’RE going to be in trouble for waking Mommy up.  At least *I* gave her a kiss.

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