Yesterday was my first Mother's Day with Benevolent Dictator. I got to sleep in until 11 a.m. (which was better than sex), then we went out for dim sum and spent the rest of the day hanging out at the house and watching Benevolent Dictator empty her toybox. After she went down for bed, I got to go bowling with friends for free! Hurray for Mother's Day specials!
Anyways, I was talking with my mother-in-law today about how this Mother's Day feels more special to me than in the past. In the past, I'd just call my mom and wish her a happy day. Yesterday, while I wasn't with my mom, I sent her flowers and was thinking about her and my mother-in-law.
This Mother's Day feels heavier to me. I think it's because I'm on the other side now. I'm not just the kid who needs to be reminded about all the stuff that a mom does for them, but I'm a mom now -- I know what some of the sacrifices are you make to try and be a good parent.
It sounds dumb, but I'll compare parenthood to writing. Everyone can do it. There's nothing really special to it -- I mean, with writing you combine a subject and verb, and voila! You're writing. With kids, all it takes is to bump uglies, get the right genetics to match up and voila! Kids!
There's nothing special about writing or parenthood on the surface -- anyone can do it. The trick is doing it well. That's the hardest thing. People make sacrifices for writing (sleep, sanity, self-esteem at times) and you make sacrifices for your kids (sleep, sanity, self-esteem). If done well, you're putting your whole heart, a chunk of your soul into this endeavor and hopefully things will turn out all right.
I once told K. that I think that parenting at times is learning how to let your heart break in tiny increments. You spend years raising this child only to see he or she grow up, rebel, leave the nest and maybe remember to call you on important holidays. It sounds terrible. Why the hell would anyone give up that much time and go for that stress to have that end result?
Maybe it's because if you do it right, it doesn't matter about the pain. It doesn't matter knowing that your heart will get broken, because it also gets mended along the way. For every tantrum, there's a big happy grin, for every "I hate you," there's a "I love you," and for every departure, there's the memory that remains.
In the end, it's pretty damn sweet. Maybe a little bittersweet at times, but it's still pretty sweet to me.