Ask my 5-year-old what she is going to be when she grows up and she will confidently reply, “I’m going to be everything!”
She gets that from me. My career choices as a child ricocheted from tight-rope walker to architect, author, lawyer- finally settling on a degree in sign language interpreting which I dabbled in until my middle child was born. I wanted to be everything. Learn everything. I still do.
My father was a colleg teacher. From a young age I found myself wandering the campus with him. I loved the smell of textbooks and possibility. I wanted to be in school forever, but paying tuition for random degrees isn’t exactly realistic.
People ask me what I do for a living and I tell them, “I wanted to be an eternal student, so I became a mom.”
Mom. What a wonderful way to learn. Motherhood lends a new set of eyes to old experiences. It gives you the opportunity to relearn things we had forgotten. The simple joy of running through the sprinkler. The magic of metamorphosis. The quadratic equation.
Motherhood has also forced me to learn about myself. I have learned am a hard person to live with when sleep-deprived (Sorry honey).I’m more afraid of germs than I’d like to admit…but only the germs that exist outside of my house. I don’t handle frustration or disappointment nearly as gracefully as I would like to believe.
Each child has forced me to grow, each time delving deeply into myself, picking apart my flaws and repurposing the leftover pieces in hopes of creating a more content version of myself. Each time I think I’ve mastered it they throw me a curve and it feels like I’m starting over.
My third child is 3 months old this week. You’d think I’d know what I’m doing by now but I swear he is more terrifying than the other two put together.
Is he too hot? Too cold? Sleeping too long? What if I drop him? Are the girls getting enough of my time? Is my husband? Am I? It’s like being a first-time mom all over again as I chip away at my flaws and adjust to a new identity.
I guess I’m still learning.