Sometimes it just hits me completely out of the blue that I am someone’s mother.
I AM SOMEONE’S MOTHER, PEOPLE.
This should come as a totally not shocking revelation to me as I vividly remember his forcible removal from my uterus and have the stretch marks and scar as proof of his former status as womb dweller.
But today? I was hit with the knowledge that I’m not just a former incubator and current toddler-keeper-alive-r.
Joshua is having water day at school tomorrow, and I’m envisioning many a trips to the spray park this summer, plus I want to buy a kiddie pool for the back yard. So Joshua needed swim trunks.
I could’ve vomited from nerves at the thought of taking him out in public to shop for clothing after I picked him up from daycare today.
You see, we’re in the midst of a pretty serious flare-up of Irrationally Moody Toddler Syndrome (IMTS) around these parts wherein Joshua says “no No NO ::insert thing we’ve asked about::” in an increasingly frantic voice until he’s in tears. Full-on wailing at the top of his lungs like we’ve just broken his wee toddler heart. Or ripped off an appendage. Or set Thomas the Train: Come Ride the Rails on fire.
I walked into daycare today and the first thing he said was “Nooo. Nooo Mama. Noo!” like I was a thing and not a person. He just shook his head and cried.
(In his defense, I did interrupt Baby Einstein so the fact that he was distraught over leaving just as their 30 minute pick-up TV show was getting started proves he’s my child.)
But I consoled him by holding him. By talking to him. By loving on him.
I did it, y’all.
So we went to Target and after his refusal to sit in the cart, and after my arms gave out from trying to carry him while also pushing the cart, I let him walk through the store. And I just sort of followed along wherever he went, throughout most of the store.
When he saw the Cars 2 display and got sucked in, I knew we’d be there for a while. We wandered up one toy aisle and down the next. He played with cars. He called out the names of some of the characters he saw. He shouted “MOWNOCYCUH!” when we passed the bicycles. He picked up a too-large baseball cap and insisted upon wearing it. He pushed his best friend Thomas down the “tracks” he saw in the tiles on the floors. The tracks that only he could see. The tracks that I pretended to see to keep the enchantment of that moment alive for him.
I didn’t force my agenda on him. I didn’t make him do what he didn’t want to do. I just…meandered in his little Joshua wake, picking up things he put down in the wrong places and watching. I let him show me things. I reveled in his excitement.
When he showed me a car or the Thomas shorts or the Elmo, I was legitimately just as excited about those things as he was.
What’s even more cool is that in just being okay with whatever, I still managed to get the things I needed to get in the process.
I had one of those purely transcendent moments where I honest-to-Cheez Its thought “Oh my God. I’m a mom. And I do not suck at this.”
I couldn’t help but let him explore the world and think “This is the most awesome moment. And I am here. And in it. With him.”