I started out all I-messagey and went rapidly downhill. He was raging and upset, I was ignoring him and reading about the 50 Hottest Latina Women from a magazine he'd chosen to bash me with. Suddenly I woke up.
"Let's go outside", I said. Oddly enough he listened the first time and out we went. In two minutes we were under a spreading mulberry tree, chomping on ripe berries and gathering "precious" gravel onto large leaves. With the situation diffused, I was just drawing breath to deliver my speech about how embarrassing his behavior had been, how disrespectful he'd been acting, when I was stopped short by the expression on his face.
He was HAPPY. Just playing with mulberries, hanging out with mom, basking in a little attention. Enough. The lecture could wait.
And it's still waiting. All afternoon he's been lovey-dovey: "There is something I like more than flowers mom. Do you know what it is? YOU." "I love you more than 10 universes." "I will always love you even after I pass away. And even after you pass away you will always, always, be invited to watch movies with me." (Oh, well. I can see the movies thing is going to take a while. It's the thought that counts.)
With all of the racing around trying to catch buses and mopping up of orange juice spills and clearing up of toys and bathing and cooking and disciplining and educating there really isn't much time to just RELATE. Or enjoy these emerging people that the Trader Joe's lady reminds me every week will be in college tomorrow. (Yeah right. On full scholarship, maybe, if they could bike their own butts there.) I feel sad when I don't get to enjoy my children.
And I was noticing today at the Cabaret that all of these people I routinely put in boxes so that I can then feel intimidated by or derisive towards them: "wealthy", "celebrities", "parents", "bosses", "Employers of Nannies" were running around chasing the same disrespectful children, wiping the noses of the same whiny toddlers, giggling at the jokes of the same gleeful preschoolers that I was. (I guess the nannies had the day off). But also, I could see that every single one of them had their own struggle. It's just hard. It's either meant to be hard or we've made it so, and nobody escapes. I shouldn't be so happy about that, but I am.
But I vote for making it less hard. The two projects that pop into my head with regularity are 1) to get a mother's collective together
2) to sneak out into Ballona Creek with my jackhammer and slowly return it to life.
I can't do the second until my kids are old enough to fend for themselves while I'm in jail. So I'm going to focus on the mother's collective. What is a mother's collective exactly? I don't know. I guess we trade off on kids, have huge playdate picnics, call each other when an emergency comes up, write anti-discrimination legislation, block off the street and let our naked children run whooping through it while we drink mint juleps and recline, laughing. Or something like that.
Meanwhile M.C. Hammer of two posts back is madly in love and emailing me constantly. I don't know what to do about that. I feel like two separate people, and somehow I need to integrate me-with-kids into all-other-ways-me. Does this happen to anyone else? Shouldn't we have some sort of ceremony for when we become mothers to integrate this huge new role into the rest of us, rather than just letting it become us?