Every morning for the past week we have started our day with the boys crying in a very screaming-like manner because they can’t have gum balls for breakfast.
I don’t understand why now, suddenly, this is an issue for them. We have never, not even once, let them just have gum balls for breakfast. But the fact remains: we are meanies.
We take solace in our knowledge that this is likely a temporary condition they are suffering from.
But we weren’t always so smart. It took us awhile as parents to realize — “OK, that was either awesome or kind of horrible but look at that, it didn’t last forever.”
Like the mom is perfect and can-do-no wrong thing. Or the whole not sleeping through the night thing. The worrying is he ever going to walk thing. And the constant asking strangers if they have nipples thing.
It feels like maybe it can last forever, but then one day it doesn’t happen anymore and you move on, sort of forgetting about it. That significant piece of your history together. That story of your family evolving, yet your head is stubbornly remaining in the present. And even though you dog-eared some of those pages it’s rare that you actually revisit them. Who has the time?
The great gift of journalism, and newspapers specifically, is how we as readers get to experience the many lives — actual people! — through its pages. We have the opportunity to share in these stories from all over the world, and through them, come to the important realization of how exactly human each of us is. How, despite our differences, we are really thinking and feeling so much beautiful sameness. Sameness that is unique in its interpretation, and therefore special.
What I enjoy most about co-writing this column with Melissa Naymick is that opportunity to chronicle my unique experience in the Mommy Wars and share it with others who inevitably write or call to say, “Me too.” That has touched me more than words on paper can say.
And perhaps most importantly, it has been profoundly joyful to write down our family’s history. You’d think that since I’m a writer I’d be all awesome at recording each step my boys have taken over the years. Each hilarious turn of phrase and tough moment conquered.
But no. Instead, I’m laughably human, and I forget to do the important work of capturing “now”–thinking I’ll remember some time down the road when I have more time. And really, that is some shocking bravado for someone who can’t even find her keys every morning.
This is my last Mommy Wars article I’ll be writing for the Chronicle Telegram, and I do it with a grateful heart. Having recently accepted a dream job in the area in which I’ll be working with this publication on the other side of the fence, it’s the right move. But I’m sad about it anyways.
So here’s my vow to myself: I will not rely on my mommy brain to do the important work for me. I promise to still write it down. To open my eyes and see my boys and their awesomeness and record it, even it’s just in some online blog or on a napkin or the back of an envelope. And I will continue to share what I see and thus know my sons are in some way living forever through this shared space. I hope you will continue to share with me too.
My sincere thanks to the Chronicle Telegram, Andy Young, Julie Wallace, and Melissa Naymick for this wonderful experience. See you on the other side!