Thursday, April 28, 2011

A reflection on five years

Five years seems like a little bit of time to be a mother. Only five. Just five. And yet there is so much wisdom about people, humanity, growing up, raising kids, and life hidden between my ears now after just five years. Enough wisdom to guide me through most obstacles with ease.

It's impossible to give that wisdom -- just pass it like a bowl of mashed potatoes at the dinner table -- to another new mom. We can tell her that sleep deprivation sucks, which is does, but she won't understand what we mean until she is in month five and the baby wakes her up three times in one night again and she had really just started into a rhythm and now her whole day is off and that will set her whole week off. It's really hard to describe that feeling unless you've been there.

We can tell her that it gets harder when they aren't an infant but she won't believe us and why should she because all that crying -- all that crying! -- is such a difficult thing to get over. And yet they will say they hate you, and they will have a hard time with a friend at school that will break your heart, and they will be left out or left behind and your every muscle will tighten with the pain of it all.

But, lo and behold, our girls now sleep through the night. Just not every night. Because there are trips to the bathroom, bad dreams, lost bears, mixed up sheets, and the ever-so-scary illnesses.

And, they are over little squabbles in a matter of seconds not minutes unlike me, who has only realized recently that I have a really interesting relationship with ATTACHMENT. I'm practicing detachment, actually, and will write more about that later.

It's easy now, though. It's easy to tell my girls now that it's OK and move on. It's easy to comfort them now. They just need the comfort of a little help (gosh, don't we all?).

My big lesson right now at five years is not about motherhood at all. It's about peoplehood and how amazingly beautiful they are with all their flaws and ridiculousness. It's about lessons every day about how to manage being around certain ones (yes, even my children) and about taming the gremlins that some of them carry around with them like little monkeys each day.

I don't meditate every day but I do every week. I don't practice Zen every hour but I do practice it every day.

It's enough for me right now. It's all enough.

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