Monday, October 11, 2010

Repost: Thoughts on Motherhood : Remembering

So, I did a little blogswap with my awesome friend Ama recently. I decided to repost my musings because this is actually one of my favorite posts that I've written. Here is an encore, just in case you missed it. I swear, the day before I do a swap, I get a gazillion readers and comments. Yet, the day that I do the swap, it's all crickets and shame with just a few readers and even less comments. I had so much fun writing this little diddy that I thought it deserved one more run. Enjoy!

When Ama asked me to write a guide for all the hopeful ladies out there that want to be mamas one day, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. Here is my number one piece of advice, try to remember what it felt like to be kid. I have the innate ability to do just that. My earliest memories go back to being two years old. I don't just remember events that occurred at that time but I remember how I felt when they happened. This gives me a leg up on the whole motherhood thing.

As I watch my children go through rights of passage, I am taken back to the very moment that I experienced the same thing.. This makes me either a more compassionate mother or an out of control narcissist, I haven't decided yet. Either way, it reignites a sense of wonder within me to see them feel the same way that I felt.

Griffin is afraid of the dark and it takes me back to a single moment that happened almost everyday of my childhood. I would run with fear into the dark bathroom, slap on the light, and then frantically slam back the shower curtain to make sure that no monsters were waiting there to eat me. Now as Griffin comes to me with a scared face, I remember how real that feeling felt. I give him all kinds of tactics to avoid the dark or skills to train his eye to decipher between a monster and a shadow. The two are closely related, as we all know.

Beyond the satisfaction I get from passing on such important survival skills, motherhood also provides a glorious paradox for me. It's amazing to experience childhood as the parent. For example, Griffin just lost his first loose tooth. We loved having conversations about all the different ways that we could pull it out. My favorite suggestion of his was to attach his tooth to an electric toy train with a string. I'm considering buying a train set to be our official tooth puller.

I'm not just excited about the milestone of him losing his first tooth but I am thrilled that I have been promoted to the tooth fairy. I was a staunch believer in the tooth fairy as a little girl, holding onto my belief embarrassingly long. So, I was excited to sneak into his room the other night as I gingerly snatched his little tooth and quickly left a dollar. I remember the excitement of waking up to find that money beneath my pillow. I was able to revel in that thrill from the other side. I get to experience childhood all over again from the parent's perspective. It's so fulfilling because all of the same feeling are evoked.

There is healing in motherhood. Sometimes when I rock my children, I feel as though I am rocking myself too. Tapping into that unconditional love that only a mama can give and I suppose that as I love my children and celebrate those wonderful rights of passage, that I am giving something back to the little girl that lives in me. I'm lucky to remember how that girl felt and to feel her giggling some place deep within me when I laugh with my children. She cries when they cry, she learns as they learn, and she grows with every step that they take.

So I say to you Ama and all the other hopeful mamas out there, locate that little girl and start looking at the world though her eyes. Dust off your memories and let them simmer in your heart so that when your future child is here, your inner child will be poised to experience childhood all over again as a mother.


Daffy said...

That is the heart of it, is it not?! And may even be the secret to tapping into truly enjoying life...child rearing or not. For if we can strip down to the barest of emotions in a moment and enjoy the splendor of it....that's really what its about. Training the eye to detect the monster behind the shower curtain...pausing long enough to allow the sun to fully warm you forehead to big toe on a spring day....witnessing a fish breaking the surface of the water only to disappear into the black mirror as if by magic. Oh Leigh...I love how your posts remind me how important it is to uncomplicate my life.

Katherine said...

I was thinking about this thing just the other day. It's amazing that we were all once children, but so many of us have no ability to relate to children. I try to remember how our emotions were overpowering, full-spectrum, 100%. If I keep that in mind, I do such a better job being a patient mommy.

Sue said...

I liked this poem just as much the second time. You are a gifted mom.


R Montalban said...

Leigh, I think you are fantastic.

Tamara Jacobs said...

i love your blog sooo much!!!

Halie Santos - Dayo said...

I love the way you described motherhood. Good thing that you had a great experience growing up and I guess, those not so great moments contributed as well to you having a great view of parenthood.

I'm some one who dreams of becoming a mother someday and I'm grateful that I stumbled onto your niche in the blog world.

Anika said...

That is a sweet post!

I was always told that if I didn't lose my tooth soon enough that a string would be tied around it and to a door knob and then someone would slam the door shut really fast and yank my tooth out. HA!! Glad it never happened...I was open to it though.

Great blog, I will be following. Thanks.

Elizabeth said...

This brought tears to my eyes. I love the way you put these feelings into words. That's truly a talent and thank you for sharing. I'm your newest follower.