Monday, May 14, 2012

Stuff they've taught me.


Yesterday wasn't Mother's Day in Costa Rica. It was just Sunday.

I'm cool with that. The truth is, I'm not a very good mom, so Mother's Day always feels kinda weird to me. Like my poor kids are being forced to give undue accolades to their weirdo, manic-depressive, spazzy Mom. “Here's breakfast in bed, Mom! Sooo....will you be getting out of bed today?”

I mean, we're doing fine, but I often feel like I'm learning way more from my loin-fruit than they're gleaning from me. So yesterday, while all y'all brunched on eggs benedict and mimosas in honor of good ol' Mom, I wrote a tribute to my kickass kids, and everything they've taught me:

They taught me to laugh. A lot...
I don't know what it is about having kids, but there are times that if you can't laugh, you'll just want to die. It starts the day they're born, when you inadvertently poop during labor. To poop yourself while 9 people are watching has got to be the #1 thing on my list of “Reasons to Jump off a Bridge”. Of course, #2 would be being pooped on (which each of my children did within 5 minutes of meeting me). #3? Finding a booger in your hair. Yeah. Been there.

When you have kids, your entire life becomes like an episode in a sit-com in which you are not the star. You're the sidekick who's always being pooped on. You're the Steve Urkel, the George Costanza, the Barny Fife. If you can't chuckle about the poop on day 1, you'll be completely miserable by day 4,395. So you've got to learn to laugh this stuff off, otherwise you risk ending up bitter and angry. With boogers in your hair.

They taught me to meet people where they're at...
When they were little, if I wanted to really connect with my kids I had to get on my knees and look them in the eye. Being on the same level helped them hear me and it helped me understand where they were coming from. Eventually, I began to see how this is true of every relationship I've ever had with my friends, family, and coworkers. It also explains my extreme distaste for people who think they're above me.

They taught me that having teenagers isn't a big deal, like, at all...
...unless the parents are still acting like teenagers. Then it suuucks. Trust me, I'm speaking from experience. But when the grownups act as grownups should, it's pretty easy for everyone to manage through all of the unchecked hormones, unwanted acne, and unsolicited boners of teen-angst without anyone committing any form of homicide.

They taught me that high-maintenance is the same as no-fun...
You can't go swimming because you it'll ruin your blow-out? You won't go camping unless there's a hot shower? You'd rather not get your shoes muddy?

Your kids do not give one shit about your hair, your hygiene, or your clothes. Not one shit.

I've noticed the best memories my kids have, the things they talk about the most, come out of our most spirit led adventures. They speak of treks through wet cow pastures and walks in the pouring rain and copious amounts of sand in our butt-cracks. Ant bites and wild animals and encounters with crazy people are the stuff of our dinner conversations. But they never say, “Remember Mom? You were wearing that super cute racerback and your makeup was impeccable.”

My little men (who aren't so little anymore) taught me to relax. And now we have more fun.

They taught me how to share...
It was my babies who taught me what “selfless” means, my littles ones who showed me the joy in giving away the cherry on a sunday. The showed me the beauty to be found in sleepless nights and busy days and a never-ending pile of laundry. They taught me how to love another person by giving myself away to them in increments of sleep and time, and by doing things I hate, like folding socks over and over and over again, a million times - because if you love someone, you have to give yourself to them a hundred different ways. And that's what real sharing is, right? It's not saying, “You may use my stuff until I want it back.” It's saying, “For you, Beloved, I die to myself...”

It was my munchkins who taught me what it really means to say, “I've got a frappuccino. Do you want the whipped-cream?”

I'm telling you, greater love hath no woman than this.

My children taught me there's no such thing as blind faith...
Through a thousand blown kisses, fluttering invisible to my turned cheek, my open hands, my beating heart, three chubby babies showed me that I already believed in what is unseen. I knew their love and it knew me. No explanation required, no proof needed, and nothing blind about it.

Indeed, having Faith means seeing. To have Faith is to see what others can't or don't. And if you've ever caught a fat baby's blown kisses... well, then you know what it means to have faith, too, I guess.

I will never stop being grateful to my kids for making me a Mama, but even more I'm thankful for the person they've helped me become.

Happy Mother's Day, indeed. 

...          .....           ...

What have your children taught you?