RANDOM ACTS OF BONDING
Motherhood is not all bad, and I’m not really a bad Mom. You know that saying “Life happens when you’re planning it?” What I’ve learned is that Motherhood happens when you aren’t trying to be a good Mom. It’s the moments in between the moments. We think it’s the times when we make sure our children eat well, take a good nap, have plenty of play time and social interaction and we teach them the alphabet. But what I’ve learned is it’s probably not those times. They’ll get all that in school and life regardless of how neurotic we are about it. What they can’t get in school in life is the precious moments we share with them. The unexpected, unplanned moments….the RANDOM ACTS OF BONDING that happen when we least expect them. The moments between the moments. I just had one tonight. It’s Christmas time and my husband calls it the Mollidays. Needless to say, I go a little crazy this time of year. It’s as if the whole year is leading up to this one month for me. My focus today was on getting the Christmas tree, hanging decorations and getting everything just right. Of course I was yelling at my son for playing with my ornaments and wanting to help me decorate the tree. Well, not really yelling at him, but at the very least, caring more about getting my decorations just right than letting him contribute to the process. BAD MOM! At the end of the day, I was so tired. Not tired from playing with my son and giving him my undivided attention, but tired from the Mollidays and my overzealous decorating. I could barely wait for my son to go to sleep, like the end of most days. Infact, I wanted a break so bad that when I put him in the bath, I slipped into the next room to watch Entertainment Tonight. Ok, I may be a bad Mom at times, but I’m not negligent. I could see him in the reflection of my bathroom mirror, and I was just in the adjoining bedroom. But nonetheless, I basked in entertainment news and gossip – the latest upate on how many women Tiger Woods cheated on his wife with and how much she was increasing her prenup demands to (good stuff!) while my son bathed. All I could think while I was doing this was “my nanny, who gives my son her 24/7 undivided attention, would like this bordered on child abuse” I could just hear her thoughts (and my own judgement on myself, really)….Look at that adorable boy, all alone in the tub, while his Mother just neglects him. Did I mention my Nanny’s a better Mom than me? Anyway, my son crawled out of the tub and my break and temporary entertainment fix came to an abrupt end. I took him downstairs and tried to get him in pajamas. The operative word here – TRIED. No luck and I didn’t feel like chasing him down, so I went in the other room to see if I could get him to eat dinner. Probably not since I filled him up on snacks earlier just to distract him while doing my Christmas decorating. So, in all my avoiding-being-a-Mom moments, they all added up to the most important moment of all. My son ran out of his room, naked, to find me in the kitchen. He had with him a basketball –an early Xmas present he gave to himself (you try keeping toys away from a 2 year old). I don’t know what got into me – perhaps a moment of presence – of actually wanting to be a Mom, but I got down on the ground and starting playing ball with my son. We started out rolling the ball back and forth. Then we starting throwing it to each other. Then I started showing him some basketball tricks (I tried out for the team but never made it). I showed him dribbling and tossing the ball in the air and catching it. He excitedly mimicking everything I did. I’d do it and pass the ball to him and he’d do it. He’d say “You’re turn”! And I’d go next and so on. I sat there, across from my son, and the exchange between us was so mutual and so gratifying. Me watching him copy everything I did, try new things, learn new things….me just reveling in him…. Now, that’s what Motherhood is ALL about.