A dare. That’s what most of motherhood is: one, giant, everyone’s watching DARE. Actually, it’s the ultimate dare. The DOUBLE DOG DARE, the dare from which there is no backing down, no saying “pass”. It’s the dare to end all dares and everyone is watching. It’s you against the unknown challenge. You somehow know instinctively that it will involve being outside of your comfort zone, and also, probably, a little humiliation for laughs.
It’s worth it, don’t get me wrong, but you WILL be the subject of many, many blackmail worthy pictures your kids are probably assembling into a final presentation for your commitment hearings. Don’t worry, you’ll have your day in court. Two can play at this game after all. I mean your average teen will melt in horror at any public demonstration of your singing…and your choice in outfits? Go for flamboyant costumes and I guarantee you will walk across that parking lot ALONE.
If anyone had been completely upfront with me about the huge leaps of faith, the near constant blindfolded trust walks, and the outright make-it-up-as-you-go-along technique required to shepherd those adorable, pudgy, toothless babies through their teen years and beyond, I might have run the other way.
But then again, I would have missed out on the best ride of my life. Go on and try it. I DARE you. Slap on your war paint and get ready to get down and dirty because being a mom is many things, and I wouldn’t trade a single one of them. Bring. It. ON.
Fairly in control
I am, most days, a fairly in control person. On those other days, the fearsome ones during which the illusion of control over life that I cling to seems like so much water slipping between my fingers, I am a terrifying, whirling dervish of frantic energy. My kids, who I adore more than life, who I in point of fact labored to bring INTO this life, run my calendar with activities and school work and affairs of the heart (or at least transportation to and from play dates, and romantic dates, and dates that escape description). In short: I am a free, glorified taxi service. I am at the beck and call of adorable tyrants, minions who managed to take over the kingdom, demanding supplies, sustenance, last minute accommodations, all of which I squeeze between the constraints of my actual, full time job coordinating education programs for a few hundred other adorable tyrants belonging to other harried, glorified taxi drivers. I try to keep everything straight from who needs to go where, to who needs what and when. I try to hold onto the times and locations and people I have meetings with, the myriad details, the minutia. Some times I succeed. Sometimes I fail SPECTACULARLY. When I do, I feel less and less like the one at the helm and more like the one in the brig. Sticky notes are a favorite visual planner for me. I post them all over my office, my books, my house, my car in an impressive variety of shapes and colors all coded to specific tasks and persons. I can be found at times amidst a flurry of falling notes peeling away and floating down like a blizzard of duty. I have noticed how reluctant others are to approach me during the heights of my crazed organizational chaos, backing slowly away from me, uttering placating words, smiling nervously before they turn and run. This confuses me since clearly I am in control. At least. I am fairly in control. For now.