Friday, September 14, 2012


Because my dear friend Emily, who is expecting, asked in a comment yesterday if motherhood is really all so sepia-toned as I've made it sound of late, I feel some transparency is due. No, it is not all so pretty.  Like this scene from yesterday: my daughter screaming "no!" in the post office parking lot when I told her, quietly and calmly, that it was time to get in the car and go home.  Then her hitting me. Then her running away. Then her turning back towards me, pointing her fingers towards my face and yelling, "DISGUSTING!" at the top of her lungs.

Jesus. This was a low moment of motherhood. First I laughed, inside, because the scene was so shockingly appalling. As in, my worst nightmare. As in, when I was younger and childless I would have felt deep pity for the woman I was in that parking lot. Of course Cricket began to cry. I started bouncing him and looked around to see who was watching this scene. Then I thanked my lucky stars that no one was.  Then I picked A up firmly, set her in her car seat, and told her (firmly) that it is never okay to speak to another human being like that, especially someone you love. At which point she broke into tears and said through her sobs, "I'm sorry. I love you Mama. I love you so much. I love you to the sky. I love you past the sky!" And then, "I know what to say. Let's stop fighting, Mama. Let's just stop fighting. Fighting makes us both so sad."

Which is entirely true. Needless to say, at that point we did stop fighting. We hugged and kissed and told each other, repeatedly, how much we love one another. And then went out for ice cream. Which might not have been a good parenting move, but I'm weak like that (for both forgiveness and ice-cream).

So there you go. A brightly colored scene for you. I don't want to turn woodbird into a montage of messy parenting moments, but from here on out I want you to know that for every sepia-toned moment (which I capture because they're the ones I want to remember) there is another like this one by its side. Miraculously, they all make the love grow deeper.

Happy day to you.