Friday, August 6, 2010

How did I become this mom?

It's 8:25 am. I'm sitting in my (empty) kitchen, finishing my hot chocolate (it's the Sam's Club holiday brand...something I've been addicted to since has about 3000 calories per cup, but so good. I'll die when they finally run out of it...)  My house is quiet around me and I wonder, How did I become this mom?

You see, I always always expected to have another baby.  Just one.  The moment Ben was born, I wanted to experience another birth. Just one.  But, life has taken me in another direction and I'm here with my two kids who I love immensely, but the one that could have been is never far from my heart.

So this week, when Ben started school, the bewilderment began.  It became a reality yesterday when I dropped them off at school and came home to an empty house. I'm now the mom with both her kids in school. I'm the mom who can go and get a pedicure in the morning if she wants without worrying about someone to watch the boys. I'm the mom who can go running for an hour or 2 if she chooses, then come home and take a long shower with the bathroom door open.

But it doesn't seem real, because that ghost child follows me through my run, makes me want to shut the bathroom door, sits next to me at my pedicure, watches me drink my solitary hot chocolate.  She (because my heart wanted her to be a she) doesn't clamber to be anything more than a ghost, a hope, a whisper.  But she is there, all the same.

So I'm living in this sense of unreality.  Last night it was like a little charge when I would think about it: 2 hours! Tomorrow! Yours!  But the reality that this is permanent, that my boys will always and forever be in school during the day, makes me wonder where it all went.  And wonder if I did a good job getting them to this day.  I surely could have been more patient, I surely could have savored one more moment somewhere.  It all happens so fast...9 years goes by in an instant, and I'm still the same old me.  With the same longings, the same wish for just one more.


Isabel said...

Oh, I'm sure you did a wonderful job preparing your kids for this day.

I remember my mom crying when I stared kindergarten and not understanding why she was so sad while I was so excited. I guess I'll figure that out next year.

In the mean time, try to find something good to fill your time at home alone. Maybe a good book?

heidikins said...

I love this post--I have never been in your position, but this gave me goosebumps.


Amy Sorensen said...

Oh. This made me cry. As I have my own ghost baby who always lingers over my shoulder, who shows up unexpectedly in dreams, who seems to be always waiting and I don't know how to get her here...yes, I know.

And it's not just the ghost baby. It is the real ones, too, that break your heart by growing up. Being a mom is always about making peace with the trade-offs, I think. You don't get to have a baby in your home anymore but you do get the trade-off of some time to yourself. Sometimes---always, I imagine---the trade-offs are always heartsore.

Now I'm going to have a good cry in the shower.

Apryl said...

This post hit especially close to home. I don't have my own ghost baby....yet...maybe because Gretchen hasn't gotten old enough for me to REALLY WANT another baby. Even if I know it can't happen.

My mom always told us she wished she had one more. And times we were together as a family, we always felt like someone was missing (it was palpable enough that we as young siblings talked about it before our mom ever mentioned her feelings.) Family dynamics are so strange. Amy got it right about the heart-sore trade-offs.

Ginger said...

Awwww. Maybe we all feel this way. How do we know when we are done? Really. Maybe we are never done having kids in our hearts but circumstances dictate the number of children most of us have. I always thought I would have one more and it would be a girl but it's not looking like it will happen and I'm getting rid of baby stuff still with a lingering sense that someday I will have one more. Weird, isn't it?