Can I offer you an orange?

August 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

For the first time in months, Kenny played soccer this weekend.

It was on a whim, early in the morning, and surprisingly much more doable than the last time he suggested all of us going, about a week after our son was born. Then, I had nearly choked on my Cheerios.

This time, we rocked it.

Snacks, Ergo, stroller, diaper bag, sunscreen, water, pacifiers. The works.
[Oh wait–all of that is pretty standard wherever we go.
But you get the point.]

With a peck on the cheek, Kenny ran off to warm up upon our arrival while I handled the gear and worried about UV rays. I inventoried our stuff and scoped out the nearest shade, an interested feeling brewing.

After setting up my chair and settling in our boy to watch his dad (see below), I took in the scene and surveyed the team and almost couldn’t contain myself. Suddenly, it hit me–I wasn’t just a spectator wife like I’d been so many times before. I didn’t have my token book to read or magazine to peruse, my camping chair reclined and feet balanced on a stray soccer ball. Instead, I looked at his team and found myself overcome with the need to offer oranges.
Provide Band-Aids.
Hand over water at the half.
And tell that one guy to watch your mouth, young man. And don’t give me any lip.
At daddy's game
And I had to chuckle.
“Ah,” I thought. “There it is.”

Equal parts horrified and delighted, I felt a little bit like a mom. I felt a bit of that instinct.

Some people are gifted with it early on, with or without kids. For others, it kicks in right away once they have their own. And I am not afraid to admit that it’s taken some time. Contrary to what you may think, it doesn’t come naturally for everybody as soon as you have a babe in your arms. At least, not for me.

Maybe it’s taken awhile because, well, I have a mom. And there’s no other mom in our relationship. She’s The Mom. I am The Daughter. I’m not a mom, too. I haven’t been able to reconcile that she’s a mom AND I’m a mom. Not possible.
Ya know?
[And now we’re to that point where you say/type a word enough and it starts to look and sound funny. Mom. What an odd word.]

Perhaps it has to do with all the years of nannying. It’s not unfamiliar to me to wear a kid in an Ergo or go get coffee while pushing a stroller. I’ve done chores with babies on my hip and taken them to their music classes. The Five S’s, car seats, and spit up on my shirt have all come with the territory. To spend my days with a wee one is not foreign to me.

To have that be what I do. It never meant I was a mom.

So really, most of the time I’ve still just feel like me, just with a bit more in the belly, more frequently unwashed hair, and an alter ego hiding beneath the surface. Because to the naked eye,when I’m out in the world solo (which has happened not even a handful of times–we’re working on it), I’m just…me.  Strangers at large do not know I have  a son. They just see me, no “mom” title involved. But like Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne, I’m really someone else. Just instead of an “S,” I wear a nursing tank and in place of the black cape, I have a Hooter Hider.

And in the sunshine on Sunday, I felt it in small, and kind of humorous, way. Like a mom.
This is who I am now.

A new second nature. The care I give our little one every day has nothing to do with a paycheck and everything to do with this new role, new responsibility of pouring into a part of our family, 24/7.

So that’s what I have to say today.
I am now that woman carrying a First Aid kit, snacks, and extra everything, just without the Mom Jeans.
So watch your mouth.
Mom mom mom.

And in this post, have I equated moms with superheros? Yes, I think I have. And don’t think I’m one bit sorry about it.]

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