So here’s how the latest conversation with my son goes:
Jake, your feet smell. Get them out of my face.
Mom, you’re supposed to love me no matter what.
I do love you but your feet still stink and I can’t take it.
But mom you’re supposed to accept me no matter how bad I smell.
Why is he not repulsed by the smell? Why can’t he put his dishes in the dishwasher? Why does he think it’s ok to torment his sister to the point where she is squealing like a pig?
These are among some of the great mysteries of motherhood. These are the things you don’t know about when you first get that baby in your arms or when you are chasing after your toddler. They smell, but it’s a tolerable smell…almost a cute baby like smell. But you have control. You bathe them and boom…all clean smelling. When they are young they are a different kind of mystery. But it amazes you just the same.
In the span of motherhood (or parenthood) you become accustomed to being baffled.
Baffled by the amount of diapers they go through when they are babies.
Baffled by the amount of toilet paper a house goes through in a week.
Baffled by the amount of times Mom is yelled.
Baffled by the realization that you may very well have lost a few marbles along the way.
Oh the Mother Load. The weighty job of being a mother.
All that comes with motherhood that you never knew about. The things that your own mother couldn’t describe and decided it was best for you to just learn for yourself. The on-the-job moments that turn you into a gorilla, a negotiator, a banker, a clown, a therapist, a doctor, a teacher, a dictator and a punching bag.
You become someone you never knew you could be. Sometimes you like that person and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you feel independent and fresh and then the check out clerk at the store calls you Ma’am and suddenly you realize you must look mature and you remember you are responsible for more than just you.
You are a mother.
You carry the Mother Load.
But underneath the weight of what you carry lies a gift that you were given from the start. This gift stays with you if you remain open to receiving it but it gets lost if you ignore it. It shows up in the most unlikely places and unsuspecting of times.
It’s the gift of mystery.
When that baby is handed to you, you marvel at the tiny little features and perfection of it all. As time marches, our backs begin to ache and our feet get sore and we no longer live in the mystery of life. But our children bring it to us each and every day.
It comes when they suddenly need braces because their teeth have grown crooked.
They grew! What a profound mystery.
It comes when they ride a two wheeler or a motor cycle for the first time. When they figure out how to tie their shoe or negotiate an IPad. When they can read and actually understand what they’ve read. When their hair changes color or textures because of hormones. When they make dinner without your help. When they laugh at Jimmy Fallen or sing Disney songs…just because they’re so much fun. When they strive for a new goal or make a new friend. When they choose to be with you over someone else and wave their smelly feet in front of you.
Yes friends, deep within the Mother Load of your job as mom lies the gift of mystery.
….p.s. I had to open the window while writing because the smell was really that bad! I’m serious…his feet stink.
p.s.s.…as I hit publish on this post I heard the bathroom door open upstairs where my daughter was taking a shower. Suddenly the upstairs will filled with the sounds of the Disney music she was singing…how can you not love that?…….wonder never ceases to amaze me….