A pond will deepen toward the center like a plate
we traced its shallow rim my mother steering
my inner tube past the rushes where I looked
for Moses we said it was a trip around the world
in China we wove through curtains of willow
that tickled our necks let’s do that again
and we’d double back idle there lifting
our heads to the green rain
swallows met over us later I dreamed
of flying with them we had all the time
in the world we had the world
how could those trees be weeping?
by Jody Gladding
Okay. So I’m official. I’ve now survived my first Mother’s Day and feel I can wear the “Mama” banner with pride. Not to worry: I wasn’t smothered in kisses nor did I drown in the coffee brought to my bed or stuff myself into oblivion with pillow-side banana chocolate chip pancakes. Apparently, the hubs didn’t get the memo about serving the new mom breakfast in bed. Not like every other dad in the universe. Yesterday, while C. slept soundlessly on the downstairs couch, I read Facebook status after Facebook status, all to the tune of: FRENCH TOAST!!! IN BED!!! I’M THE WORLD’S LUCKIEST MOMMY!!! BACON TOO!!!
I have to admit: I set myself up for failure. At 5 a.m. after the bird had been squawking and eating and squawking and eating for several hours, C. said, I’m gonna go sleep on the couch, and I was all (in my head): Sure you are, you’re gonna go make pancakes and coffee and put a pink peony in a little tiny vase and I’m gonna say, you didn’t have to and you’re gonna say, Oh but I did, and then we’re going to lay around all day and read the Times and Eva’s going to take naps and maybe there will be a small piece of jewelery involved and maybe I’ll get to yoga but mostly we’ll just kiss and the house will clean itself, and Bacon, you’ll say, Extra crispy!
Meanwhile, back on the planet Earth, my husband–who is (almost) always incredible, who I respect and admire and love more than anyone in the world–emerged from the couch cave at about 9:30 (an obscenely late hour in these parts!), scratching his belly and letting out a bear yawn. What’s for breakfast? he asked. And then, even after he nuzzled me and made me dance with him in the kitchen and cooked me dinner and told me jokes and said I was the best mom in the world, I still pouted. And pouted. And pouted.
He says he can’t read my mind. Looks like next year’s memo will need to be in black & white. Anybody out there not get breakfast in bed?
Evabird, we’re at a little French cafe, and the wind is wild outside, and I’ve been telling you about all the things I love less than you: croissants and stars, long drives and new blooms, blue fish and dark skies, travel and sunshine and sweet, sweet sleep; all the things I’ve always loved most in the world…until I had you, until I understood something entirely new about love. I am a happy mother, indeed, little one. Little plum, little bird, thank you for changing my world.
I’m not quite sure how to say this, but here it is: I fear that becoming a mother is making me anti-feminist. I used to feel sorry for men and the burden they carried; I used to admire that burden and want it and think about how I could do anything a man could do; I used to be surrounded by all these equal signs but then they turned into question marks.
Now, I marvel at generations and generations of women. I guess this doesn’t make me anti-feminist but it makes me something other than what I’ve been for years. Maybe (in 2037) when I’m getting a little more sleep I’ll be able to articulate it…
It’s times like this I think of a conversation I had with my mom a few years ago. She’s an ER doctor with 3 young kids, and I asked her why she loved work so much, and she laughed and laughed and said it was the only time she got to relax. Now I know she wasn’t joking.
Nothing like waking up after another fairly sleepless night, hooking myself up to the hands-free breast pump and trolling “Baby’s First Solids” message boards to remind me that life ain’t what it used to be. Let’s just hope I can make it to my two o’clock meeting at NYU without reeking of spit-up.