Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Motherhood and Toothfairies

This is my first-ever blog-switch/guest post thing, and I'm excited. I try to be vigilant, but my posts tend to come in fits and starts, dependent on the ebbs of influence and energy. I'd like to introduce you to Leigh of Leigh vs Laundry, an old friend from our mid-twenties Atlanta madness, who I happily rediscovered in blog-land, and quickly became an avid follower of her poignant and very funny, insightful blog. I'm honored that this blogging vet agreed to switch blog-posts-for-the-day with me. Please visit her and follow. You'll fall in love, I promise.



Thoughts on Motherhood: Remembering
When Ama asked me to write a guide for all the hopeful ladies out there that want to be mamas one day, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. Here is my number one piece of advice, try to remember what it felt like to be kid. I have the innate ability to do just that. My earliest memories go back to being two years old. I don't just remember events that occurred at that time but I remember how I felt when they happened. This gives me a leg up on the whole motherhood thing.

As I watch my children go through rights of passage, I am taken back to the very moment that I experienced the same thing.. This makes me either a more compassionate mother or an out of control narcissist, I haven't decided yet. Either way, it reignites a sense of wonder within me to see them feel the same way that I felt.

Griffin is afraid of the dark and it takes me back to a single moment that happened almost everyday of my childhood. I would run with fear into the dark bathroom, slap on the light, and then frantically slam back the shower curtain to make sure that no monsters were waiting there to eat me. Now as Griffin comes to me with a scared face, I remember how real that feeling felt. I give him all kinds of tactics to avoid the dark or skills to train his eye to decipher between a monster and a shadow. The two are closely related, as we all know.

Beyond the satisfaction I get from passing on such important survival skills, motherhood also provides a glorious paradox for me. It's amazing to experience childhood as the parent. For example, Griffin just lost his first loose tooth. We loved having conversations about all the different ways that we could pull it out. My favorite suggestion of his was to attach his tooth to an electric toy train with a string. I'm considering buying a train set to be our official tooth puller.

I'm not just excited about the milestone of him losing his first tooth but I am thrilled that I have been promoted to the tooth fairy. I was a staunch believer in the tooth fairy as a little girl, holding onto my belief embarrassingly long. So, I was excited to sneak into his room the other night as I gingerly snatched his little tooth and quickly left a dollar. I remember the excitement of waking up to find that money beneath my pillow. I was able to revel in that thrill from the other side. I get to experience childhood all over again from the parent's perspective. It's so fulfilling because all of the same feeling are evoked.

There is healing in motherhood. Sometimes when I rock my children, I feel as though I am rocking myself too. Tapping into that unconditional love that only a mama can give and I suppose that as I love my children and celebrate those wonderful rights of passage, that I am giving something back to the little girl that lives in me. I'm lucky to remember how that girl felt and to feel her giggling some place deep within me when I laugh with my children. She cries when they cry, she learns as they learn, and she grows with every step that they take.

So I say to you Ama and all the other hopeful mamas out there, locate that little girl and start looking at the world though her eyes. Dust off your memories and let them simmer in your heart so that when your future child is here, your inner child will be poised to experience childhood all over again as a mother.

2 comments:

Amre Klimchak said...

Leigh! What a beautiful insight into motherhood. I think all the hopeful mamas will find it inspirational. I know I did!

Neena said...

I love these sweet words. Just love all the wonderful thoughts in your heart!

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