Mother’s Day was almost two weeks ago, and it was my second Mothers day as an actual mother. And it’s strange because I feel like I have always been this iteration of myself. A little bit like there was no me before me as a mom. And I am not saying that he completes me or that I need him to feel whole. Just that I feel I spent a lot of time in my life trying to be someone I’m not. Trying to fit in. Trying so hard to be liked; to say the right thing; to be who others wanted or needed me to be. And it was only in recent years that I feel I stopped trying so hard. Or at least I’ve gotten better at recognising the types of people who bring that out in me.
But since I became a mom I am more me. I am more like the person I used to be. My son doesn’t care about my job. He doesn’t care whether I am dressed to impress or if I look like I’ve rolled out of bed backwards. He just needs me to be me. He loves me no matter what. Because I’m his mom. He just wants me to show up, to be involved.
Right now, he wants me to sit with him while he watches Hey Duggee. He wants me to take a turn using his new lawnmower. He wants to be up cooking and baking with me, even if all I’m doing is pouring a bowl of cereal. He wants me to colour with the green pencil. No, the other green pencil. He wants to give me all the random bits of fluff and dirt he finds on the floor, that threaten to ruin his sparkling clean floor he spent the morning sweeping. Correction, I spent the morning sweeping. Under his supervision.
He looks to me when he’s excited about something, to confirm what he’s heard and to share in his excitement. It’s difficult to get excited about every bin truck and digger and tractor and plane, but I do it. I do it because he is excited about it. Because for him, this isn’t the 1 millionth plane that has flown overhead or the same tractor we’ve seen every day this month. For him this is all still new and exciting and fascinating. I try to remember that he is an explorer and adventurer, that every single thing he encounters is new, and if he happens to encounter it a second or third time, that is just as exciting because look! Here’s proof that I didn’t imagine it. That this thing is real and it exists and there is more than one.
Mother’s Day is always portrayed as a day where Mother’s get the day off. And while I would love a day to myself – to rest, to read, to listen to my music so loud it can be heard three doors away – having an almost 2 year old meant that was never going to happen. He took the meaning of Mother’s Day to be that he needed to be with me, on me, beside me at all times. I couldn’t leave the room without him following me. Although I gather this is quite normal for his age I found it funny that one of the first days he really showed this deeply intense need to be near me was Mothers day.
I spent too much time before this trying to be who others needed me to be, who I thought I had to be to fit in. And now I am still trying to be who someone else needs me to be, but this one is easier. This time it comes more naturally to me. Because all this person needs me to be is me. To be me and to love him. To play and to sing and to laugh with him. And all of that I do willingly. Even on days where he wants me to be that person at 5am, I am willing. He is helping me remember what it is I like about myself. Those things when you’re a kid that get squashed and silenced as we grow up.
The silliness. The craziness. The desire to read and read and read. To climb and clamber and explore. To sing loudly and dance around the kitchen. To bake a chocolate cake just because its a rainy day and we have the ingredients.
He is helping me find the me that I used to love. I’ve missed her.