Saturday, June 03, 2006

Dirty Little Secret #15

It's 10:00 pm on a Saturday and I'm folding laundry.

I couldn't be happier. My life is captivatingly humdrum. Neither mediocre nor unexceptional, just satisfyingly routine. While there are undoubtedly days when I would tear out my hair, I am not conflicted about myself in the role of wife and mother. I am not a cool mom, and I definitely wear a mom uniform. I am not a soccer mom.

I'm just mom. Or mama. Or mommy. Or Mooooommmmmy.

Mommy with L

Our days ebb and flow, gentle waves of time lapping at our feet. Just two days ago, T. celebrated his second birthday. The minutes and hours have trundled past, through playgrounds, pre-school, and potty training. In my jeans and tees, I watch them as they grow older, thinner, wiser. I, too, grow older and wiser.




Today, we ventured to the Minnesota Zoo. L. has been watching the posters announcing the arrival of the Summer on the Savannah exhibit since last September. She had carefully amassed a set of facts in preparation for the exhibit, and when shown a model of an ostrich egg, announced to the Zoo staff that an ostrich is a relative of the extinct Elephant Bird. She is an eager child, who sees great beauty in beasts, balloons, and basketballs. She is extraordinary in her capacity to both celebrate and fear the world around her. I only wish that I were extraordinary when it came to exhibiting patience with her.




Because I still perceive T. to be a baby, I do not always see the rapidly growing boy that he has become. His sunny smile fears little, and he too finds great joy in the ordinary. Planes! Birdies! Bugs! I don't always pay tribute to the fact that he doesn't receive the same kind of attention from us that L. merited at the age of two. We don't carefully sit to learn shapes, colors, and letters. T. is allowed to freely roam through her activities, gleaning what he can. He speeds through sippy cups, stairs, and Sesame Street, always striving to catch up to his beloved sister.

L and T at the zoo

So we measure our garden variety days in sticky-syrupy pancakes, bits of grass stuck to sweaty palms in the sandbox, negotiations around naptimes, and trips to the zoo. We always wear playclothes. We struggle with the ordinary and expected conflicts of marriage, parenthood, and birth order. We shepherd two tiny, merry beings through the sunshine and into moonshine; when they go to bed, I fold laundry.

L and T and D at the zoo

11 comments:

lynsalyns said...

This is lovely, KK. You are a wonderful mommy, wife, sister and writer. I miss you all so much. Can't wait to see you.

Sandy said...

You express yourself beautifully! I wish I had the talent that you do, but I'm grateful to read your thoughts and opinions, as they often are similar to my own feelings about my children (I just can't jot them down as succintly as you can).

Becky said...

Happy Birthday T! This is really beautiful. It's funny how a complete stranger can make you feel so normal, like their really are other parents like you! Thanks for that.

Jenny said...

Beautifully written!

Mom101 said...

"satisfyingly routine" - awesome. I love this whole thing.

macboudica said...

Beautiful post! I feel the same way.

Heather said...

Very nicely written Karen. I think this is one of my favorite posts of yours. I too, fold laundry on Saturday nights. We're pretty exciting here. Just normal life. Isn't it great?

Dutch said...

I think you and my wife are in about the same place right now, as I heard a lot of those same thoughts from her the other day. must be the great spring weather.

hope things stay this good!

Lisa said...

I loved this post. It gives me a glimpse into what its like having two which I will soon have. Beautifully written!

motherhooduncensored said...

That was just a simply lovely post. And folding laundry on a Saturday sounds about right for me too. Thank god for sex and the city reruns.

John-Michael said...

How many times has a sixty-year-old man heard "Happy Birthday" sung?... How many candles have I seen blown out (with the requisite assistance)?... yet, I watched... and waited... and watched...through the entire streaming process, and then again. Why? Because, Dear Lady, you inject a spirit that makes it all fresh and new with an energy and emotion that stills me and makes my soul smile. Thank you.