It's hard, isn't it? This being a mother jazz? As the babies grow into kids, things get easier in some ways--they sleep through the night! they can fetch their own water! it becomes increasingly unlikely that they'll eat cat shit! But things get harder, too. Sports and the assorted sports-related activities eat your life. Homework and PTA and "volunteer opportunities" eat your brain. All the ways you've fucked up your kid become more evident, more easily seen by outsiders. You can't even hide the veggies in their mac & cheese anymore. They're onto your bush league bullshit.
Someone I used to know was once considering having a child, and she asked some mamas she knew for stories about their experiences--any advice we might have to help her decide. I wrote her a long letter about how difficult it was to be a mother. How the days of "doing nothing" are over. There's no more sleeping in or Law & Order marathons on TV. No more easy decisions. No more life without worry. I think I used the word fraught a lot.
But I also wrote a lot about how full my life became the instant I became Dash's mama. How the pleasure of knowing him, raising him, holding him, telling him ridiculous jokes & teaching him the words to Queen songs filled me up in a way that I never knew was possible. Watching him come down the stairs in the mornings is like Christmas every single day. Hearing him laughing with his amazing papa is more lovely than any music in the world. Even the feel of his skin next to mine feels different, more significant than any before him.
That woman decided against having children, but writing that letter to her helped me to recognize the miracle of my own motherhood. Of my beautiful family.
All that is to say to my amazing boys: thank you for the pancakes and eggs. Thank you for the cards and drawings and gifts. Thank you for the perfect day, picnicking with our beloved friends at LACMA. Thank you for the love and gratitude you showed me (and show me every day). But my real gift, the only gift I'll ever need for the rest of my days, is you two.
Oh, and a box of See's Nuts & Chews. Always. Every time.
OK, enough with the sap. Onto the pictures!
Painting silk scarves for the Grandmas. Stripes for Grandma Sherry.
Dots for Baba.
The annual bear shot.
Miss Tori gets comfortable where she pleases.
Josh & Jordan also get comfortable, but in a different way. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
"Hi, my name is Samantha and my whole job in life it to make you want to have more children. It's working, isn't it?" Yes, Miss Samantha, it sure is.