5.11.2009

Mom's the Word

Well, it was this weekend anyway.

I’ve been a mother for over two years. Unfortunately, “Mama” was not one of the words Celia used to use, so no little people have actually ever called me Mom. Yet. (And except for when my fifth graders accidentally called me mom, which was always a flattering mistake, but one that doesn’t really count.) I’m still pretty new at this thing called motherhood. And to be perfectly honest, there are lots of times when I feel entirely under-qualified. I don’t insist on pockets in every pair of pants, for balling up tissues and collecting other paraphernalia, like my mom does. I don’t merge into traffic quite as cautiously and I don’t have a way of making every holiday feel extra special, like she can. I don't always stock the cabinets and fridge with everyone's favorite snack, or put the needs of everybody else before my own the way my mom continues to do.

Although, there are moments when I see my mother in me. When I lose track of time in a bookstore, she's there. I am my mom when I stock up on thank you notes and when I spritz the guest sheets with lavender linen spray, when I eat ice cream before bed and when I start a second project before the first one is complete. I know whose daughter I am when I find my nose in a book instead of my hands in the air during a football game. I see my mother in myself when I stand at the front of a classroom. And when I remind loved ones to wear seatbelts or sunscreen...

But there’s still a lot I need to work on. Truthfully, sometimes I find myself looking at the computer screen, or even the clock, when I should be watching my babies. But I know I’m not alone in my flaws. And I don’t expect perfection from myself, most of the time anyway. I’ve learned the best way to feel qualified is through practice and I'm finding myself a bit more confident each day. I hate to have to practice on these two small people though. They deserve a pro. But I am thankful that I get to spend time with these special souls. They’re a big help when it comes to making me a mom. I’d love them even if I didn't grow their hearts in mine, if they didn’t sleep across the hall, or we didn't share the very same last name. They're, obviously, what motivates me to keep trying. That, and I have a lot to live up to. My parents (step and in-law, too) are the people I want to be when I grow up. Mostly, anyway. I’m okay without all the pockets.

JEB

9 comments:

Tsquared417 said...

I think you're more of a pro than you know. :)

Christy said...

OMG! Look at those cute little chunky legs! Love it! And, by the way, you sound like a fabulous mom to me!

Beth Ann said...

Jenni, you took the words, thoughts, worries, guilt, sentiments - whatever you want to call them - right out of my heart, mind, and soul. I feel exactly the same way about being a mom. I often wonder do they (our moms) really know how amazing they are. I'm not sure there is any way to make them understand that they truly are what we strive to be. Minus the extra pockets of course!!!

The Wendels said...

Love the rolly legs....couldn't be any cuter :)

Poppy John said...

Jenni Baby,

If you are curious...please don't stress...don't worry...be happy...you ARE the perfect mom. The fifth graders spoke from the heart when they called you mom...their unentended expression of love.

I love YOU(and the other 3!)

rht said...

Oh Jenni, remember when I told you how amazing it felt to watch you teach circles around me at HCI?? Well, that's happening with mothering too. Let's go get lost at Half Price Books sometime soon... my treat... we'll use the gift card that's stuck in one of my pockets!

m : ) m

esmoore_4 said...

Jenni dear,cousin Beth in S.C. Iread your blog every day and think that you and Andy both are amazing. We love you and pray for all of you. Special love,

Grandma Jan said...

I used to wonder about all that stuff in my mom's pockets. And I wondered why her sleeves were always pushed up. And I loved discovering all those places she hid treats for various family members.

I'm certain you'll find places for those special worms, rocks, and cool stuff that will be collected along the way. Oh - and all those tissues!

Poppy John said...

How do you spell unintended? Just curious.