Sometimes I find it hard to call myself a mom, like I haven’t earned the title yet. I’m still down in the trenches making mistakes, juggling two live grenades that are ready to explode at any second, and I’m always unprepared for what’s about to happen next.
If I’m “Mom,” then certainly my own mother’s title should be something like Grandmaster Gamma, Lord of the Ankle Biters and Thereafter. She should also carry with her at least 30 Purple Hearts, and be carried into the most prestigious red carpet event on the shoulders of smoldering, young gentlemen. New mothers from all over should bow in her presence, and every other Grandmother for that matter. Because Grandmaster Gamma, Lord of the Ankle Biters and Thereafter, made it out of the trenches alive.
Every time I catch Layla dipping her hand in the toilet for a drink, or I’m left breathless and vibrating after struggling to pin Jack down for a diaper change, I think how did Mom do this with us? How did she not commit herself to a psychiatric institution? How is she still smiling?! Did my brother and I crush her soul so badly with our rein of toddler terror that she was left to just grin and bare it? Was it one of those situations where you just bite your tongue, but inside a little piece of you dies?
Grandmaster Gamma, Lord of the Ankle Biters & Thereafter, tells me that she doesn’t really remember a lot of the young child rearing days. I don’t blame her; I certainly feel like I want to block some of these days out of my memory too. What’s comforting is that she’s always there for me. Like she has been my entire life.
What gets me through each diaper wrestling match, every irrational tantrum, is that I can look at Grandmaster Gamma, Lord of the Ankle Biters & Thereafter, now and see how happy and fulfilled she is. How proud of us she is. It keeps me going.
If I can give my kids half of what Grandmaster Gamma, Lord of the Ankle Biters & Thereafter has given me over my lifetime, I feel like I could finally call myself Mom.