I’m in Bud’s room; it’s the middle of the day and I’m collecting laundry. Laundry that is strewn about his floor while his hamper remains e m p t y. I can’t help but to smile though, because this is the way it always is on TV. Someone who is not the mom might believe something like this to be exaggerated. But there is no exaggeration. No stereotype. The boy child is a messy child. He knows not where his hamper is and I will forever be digging dirty laundry out of the depths of his room.
Liv has put on her very favorite outfit to wear to pre-school, a frilly purple top and black and white striped leggings. She gets bored while waiting for Hub who is talking to the neighbors and begins to play in the front yard. Of course, she falls in the mud leaving her knees muddy beyond relief. Hub puts her in the car anyway, and calls me to tell me about it on the way to school, at which point I demand that he’d better have her change her pants when they get there, and he’d better bring me those pants immediately. He thinks I’m crazy, but he complies. I treat the shit out of those stains. I don’t just do laundry, I am good at doing laundry. Of course I am; I’m the mom.
I don’t notice crumbs on the floor. Really, I don’t. But I will notice when teeth haven’t been brushed correctly, when someone, who hates brushing her hair, has tried to hide snarls with some careful fingertip arranging, or when someone has been much too quiet (I will usually find THAT someone trying on one of my bras). I’ll notice who’s a little bit pale, circles under eyes, or pretending to be asleep when I come to check. I will know about that candy hidden in a sleeve or a pocket JUST as I walked in to the room. I will know about lunch food thrown away rather than eaten at school. I will be asked how, and I will answer that it’s because I am the mom.
I will laugh at unfunny jokes. I will even make up some of my own. I will pretend to be offended when one of them tells me that I always sound like I’m being sarcastic. I will put together the same puzzles, read the same books and sing the same songs.
I will feel every one of their emotions and sometimes wonder if I feel them more than they do.
I will love them fiercely even as they are on my last freaking nerve.
I will always tousle or stoke hair. I will always take that extra minute to sniff in their smell at bedtime.
I am the mom. Their mom.
Lucy tells us in the car the other night that she is never getting married. She only likes the cute funny boys. The ones who make her laugh. When she laughs hard she pees a little. She can’t spend the rest of her life peeing her pants. I laugh, and tell her that someday she’ll change her mind, and then of course, I post our exchange on Facebook. Hub looks at her approvingly and tells her it’s ok. Never get married. Ever.
Because he’s the dad.