Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Must Remember

The night before Dominic's birthday party I was up way, way too late putting the finishing touches on his cake, cupcakes, etc. It was well past midnight and I was still in the kitchen, feverishly mixing the frosting to the right shade of neon green for the dinosaur cake. To those of you left reading this blog with no children (if I haven't scared you away yet) 12:45 may not seem that late. But it is. It is, when your now two-year old bebe arises between 6 and 6:30 am ready to rumble. This is after he has awoken you multiple times during the night, asking for contraband MAWK or to be taken to the kitchen for a yay-durt  snack (yogurt snack) or informs you that he has pooooooop in his diaper or he needs water.

Um anyways so back to my story. So there I am, sitting in the kitchen frosting dairy-free cupcakes for the multitudes of dairy-free friends we have acquired, and I'm feeling pretty motherly. It's easy to feel motherly the night before your child's birthday party because you are sacrificing FOR THEM, frosting the cake, cleaning the house, setting out the perfectly selected plastic-ware, all while the little darlings are fast asleep. I love my children deeply and fiercely. Sometimes I love them even more when they are sleeping. I finish my work, and it is good. Very good.

I think I am supposed to say I found the ideas for both the cake and cupcakes on Pinterest??
I crawled into bed a little past one o'clock, the cake encased in aluminum foil, the cupcakes stored in airtight containers, the balloons drifting gently on the living room rug. As I lay in bed, I mentally run through my check-list.....must remember: Trader Joe's--more eggs, jelly, yogurt, kefir....BAGELS, half and half, cream cheese.....prep coffee in am, must vacuum rugs, make beds, wipe down bathroom, sweep floors.....

I felt that I had just drifted into a deep, deep sleep when I was rudely awakened. It was Brad.
"Sorry....but Gianna is awake and I think she doesn't feel good and she only wants you."
Hmph. I look at the clock. It's barely past 2 am. All feelings of motherliness are long, long gone. I trudge down the hallway. Attempt to communicate in the dark (never, never works out) and finally bring Gianna into the kitchen, where she asks for some yogurt. I move to lay on the couch but she insists I sit right next to her at the counter. Sigh. Fiiiiine. Fine. Fine.

As she eats her snack, she revives as bit and looks around. She  notices the cake and cupcakes and balloons. In her sweet, slightly-too-loud nighttime voice (she doesn't wear her speech processors at night and thus cannot hear how loud she is talking) Gianna asks me,
"Is everything ready for Dominic's party?? Did you do that when I was sleeping?"
Well yes, my daughter, I did. She is in awe. She smiles widely at me. Then she says, "We are having special time right now! Just you and me in the kitchen! Daddy is sleeping, Dommie is sleeping, Aunt Monica is sleeping, Uncle Richard is sleeping, baby Thomas is sleeping! But not us!!"

She is so thrilled by this notion that I smile...genuinely, this time. It might be easy to feel like a fantastic mother when I pretend I am being asked to give much of myself as I frost a cake in the peace and quiet of my kitchen late at night. It might be more difficult to embrace my vocation when it's not on my terms, but ultimately...this is what matters. Cakes and balloons are nice, but my kids want me. I realized that they desire a quiet conversation and stolen snuggles in the middle of the night, more than they want the perfect birthday cake. I think I knew this, but lately, I forgot. They are growing into incredibly unique and funny little people, but I'm going to miss it if I get distracted by all the things that don't really matter.

The party was a success, I think adults and children alike enjoyed a fun day of delicious foods and NFL playoffs and adult conversation while the kids entertained themselves. My thoughts about mothering and my children's true needs were still fresh in my mind when around 4 pm the birthday boy, having partied hard all day, climbed into my lap, snuggled up, asked pitifully, "Mawky?" and promptly passed out in my arms. I held him and I was thankful; thankful for the opportunity to hold my baby Dominic who is not really a baby anymore, thankful for the daunting task of mothering this little soul, thankful for moments of clarity amidst the joyful chaos. Must remember the purpose of what I am doing. Must. Remember.

1 comment:

  1. I had the same feelings of loving my children even more when they are sleeping! BOTH of the kids hadn't pooped allll day...I chalked up their crankiness to being stopped up - but for real...all I wanted was a hot shower, brush my teeth and the vacuuming to magically get accomplished. Lauren took her last feeding early last night, so I offered to put Isaac to bed (ya know, the whole routine...which can last 30 minutes). While we were reading stories and rocking once the lights were out, he was so happy and snuggled in. He went to his bed without a fight. After i left his room I told my husband it is amazing how he can irritate the fire out of my during the day, but nights like this make it worth while. I was also so touched he didn't throw a fit for his 'dada' to put him to bed - it seems as if Lauren's last feeding comes at Isaac's bed time. Moments like these we must remember. :)