It’s become a nightly ritual that is all too often fleeting but treasured. It’s that peaceful, content, full silence that wraps me up after my little one is in bed, and the house has been cleaned and straightened up. I sit. I breathe. I take a sip of wine and slowly exhale. What should I do with the precious hour that’s all mine? Read a book? Watch T.V.? Exercise? Then I look to my right and see the dried milk on the side of the armchair. Of course.
There are things in life that no one can explain to you until you have experienced them. Motherhood is that way. One of the most common phrases uttered between myself and new mother friends has always been “no one tells you” about how exhausting, frustrating, thrilling and amazing it is to mother a child.
How do you explain that after an agonizing day with a newborn, and she’s finally asleep for at least a two hour stretch until she nurses again, that instead of sleeping yourself, you stare at pictures of her on your iphone? How do you confess that you love the smell of her morning breath, or that your hair feels like it’s falling out as your battle of wills rages on.
In my previous life, I needed everything to be arranged just so. Now I’ve got food on my clothes, wet hair, cellulite, and an array of public experiences that would have made me shudder before. I’ve never been happier or more humbled, and certainly have never had as many laughs since becoming my precious girl’s mother.
Our collective sense of humor gets us from one day to the next, so when I looked up from the kitchen sink to see a huge wad of kale stuck to my wall, and my daughter grinning at her latest wall art, I had to laugh. I had made Smoky Charred Cauliflower and Potato Soup with Kale for dinner and she loved the soup. After she removed the kale that is.
While I elected not to leave that artwork up on the wall, we did have a good laugh about it while she finished eating, and we both learned our lesson that day. She should say “mommy all done” when finished with her meal, rather than tossing it off her tray, and I should chop her kale into smaller, more appetizing pieces. My messier life is so much more fun.