When I was young, I never wanted to be a mother. As a little girl I was a tomboy, worshipping my older brother and following my dad around. I don’t think I ever even owned a Barbie doll or a babydoll. I wanted to climb trees, play baseball, wrestle, and I never wore dresses. Dresses mortified me.
Looking back I see the complex reasons why I wanted to associate with the male persona more, reasons like freedom and going shirtless in the summertime (though that was forbidden after I was five). Even as a child, especially as a child, I sensed the limitations and the lack of respect towards mothers held in our society.
Most of all I didn’ t want to have my own children. No, I wanted to travel the world and follow my own dreams and the message to me in my childhood was loud and clear that children are a burden and they keep you from your dreams. Children limit you and hold you back and make you incredibly exhausted and disappointed. No room for dreaming once they come along.
And so I lived for myself, for my own devices, going from thing to thing until one day I was 26 and suddenly I felt THE CLOCK. Nothing so overwhelming as the urge to have a BABY. It was a strange occurrence I never could’ve seen coming, until it was there smacking me in the face. I had found my mate and it was time.
There is so little to prepare us for the complete life-alteration that is parenting. The journey is mind-blowing to say the least, and sometimes I think so chaotic and insane that only in retrospect can we see how amazing it is. My children are 8 and 5 respectively now and just as everyone tells you from the minute they are born (and man is it annoying how often people say this) it goes by so quickly, so painfully and heart-wrenchingly quickly.
Because I never rehearsed as a little girl nor dreamed of the children I would one day have, perhaps I bloomed late into my embrace of mothering. But embrace it I do.
My children are my opus, my everything. They are my reason for waking and my reason for collapsing. I want to hold on to every second of their lives and remember, remember, remember. This moment, gone. That moment, so sweet. A series of moments tied together by this rushing river of unbounded love.
How could I know? Was I so naive to think there was any other miracle meant for me?
So if mothering these two children is the biggest thing–the only thing–I ever do, no matter how imperfectly or awkwardly, if this is my great body of work in this world–I am 100% at peace with that. If I never write that book or screenplay or finish the album I feel compelled to record, I will be just fine. If I never see Africa or South America, I will be fine.
Why is it the best thing that ever happened to me?
Little hands. Sneaking into my bed to sleep next to me. Laughter. Screams. Swinging in sunshine. Playing for hours. Pretending. Seeing for the first time. I love you, Mommy. Little feet. Bathtime. Learning to read. Prayers for strangers. Why Mommy? When Mommy? Where Mommy? Candy. Treasure Hunts. Legos. Spontaneous dancing. Jumping on the bed. Skipping. Hopscotch. Bedtime stories. Lullabyes. Backrubs. Hugs. Kisses. Snacks before bed. Climbing trees. Sleepovers. Playdates. Skipping rocks. Throwing ball. Picking up from school. Walking to the bus. Waving goodbye. Running to greet me. Kisses. Hugs. Good morning. I love you, baby.