Squealing, laughing, crying, fighting, arguing, door slamming and more shouting...yes my momma said they’d be days like this. As a mother of four the house is indeed full to the brim of noise and commotion and I am its innocent hostage. A hostage who some days is hated since she refused an extra chocolate cookie whilst on other days is loved, hugged and kissed..because I’m just mummy and they do indeed love me. Mystical and magical are these days my momma whispered about, for she knew that being a mother is a privilege, a blessing, the luckiest of the lot to belong to, to swim, to wallow in a love so pure, so untouched, unblemished... the love of a child.
But occasionally..I wish sometimes there wouldn’t be days like this. I yearn for days where I can disentangle my motherly ties, say hello to my old self and whisk ourselves,my yesteryear and I, off to some quiet magical place unburdened by the pressures of house and family. For these days that my momma spoke about are indeed hard. Children are complicated changelings, challenging your very belief to the core. The gurgling baby becomes a moody teenager who questions your parenting at every turn, who has you on your knees in despair and disbelief.
In utter vexation and frustration you scream I give up, I’ve had enough, I didn’t really sign up for this constant barrage of feelings and emotions, highs and lows. Momma I just can’t get it right like you did. You were indeed perfect for you knew the right things to say from when I stubbed my toe at four to when I left for college scared and excited at the new beginnings ahead. Your homely meals can never be duplicated however much I try, your advice on life though at that time joked aside is my very internal mantra, my guide to everything I do in life.
How you promised me the moon and stars and always delivered. You were always my constant superhero throwing shame on any Knight in shining armour, you protected me as a child and rescued me as an adult. How did you get it so right EACH TIME Momma?
As the matriarchal cloak settles on my shoulder I balk at the enormity of the responsibility given to me. Hesitant, scared I doubt my ability to step up to the mantle...and my first reaction is to come running to you...I can’t do it Momma, I can’t raise these children, I can’t make the days golden like you did. But once again you come through, you say just follow your heart and show them love and the rest will fall into place. Angry I say ‘those days you spoke about are not like the days of today, things are more complicated. Children are complicated more demanding..wanting everything from the moon to the stars!’ You smile and say..’just like you!’
So my momma said there will be days like this..days where I question myself as a mother and fear that I am failing miserably at it, but then reassurance comes in the form of misspelt loves notes tinged with fairy wings and X’s and O’s and proclamations that I am the best mother in the world. Jolted into exuberant happiness, these words of encouragement make my soul weep with love...these were indeed the days that my Momma spoke about. The art of mothering never to a day but usually lasts a lifetime and beyond.