Sunday, May 9, 2010


Shabbat #18:

Guests: Megan and her 4-year old son L. And Dane. Megan and I practiced law together at a large firm after we graduated law school. She wised up more quickly than I did following her passions instead of the mighty dollar. But I got there eventually too.

Menu: Roasted Corn & Lentil Salsa, Grilled Steak & Portabella Fajitas with Chimichurri Sauce, Drunken Peppers, Fiesta Salad, Polvorones de Canela (Cinnamon Cookies) with Coconut Sorbet

What I Learned:

On Friday night I was sitting out on my patio turned preschool parking lot when Batman crept around the corner. Okay. So it wasn't exactly Batman. It was L. Dressed as Batman. Full-length cape and all.

In tow? Megan and Dane. It didn't take more than five minutes of casual introductions before Dane began singing Megan's (well-deserved) praises. That L. had wished for a Batman cape. That Batman capes aren't so easy to find in months that don't start with "O." And that Megan had in fact stitched up the very cape that Batman -- I mean L. -- was sporting.

I'll be the first to admit that the cape demonstrated a fair bit of seamstressing prowess -- from the bright yellow felt bat emblem stitched on the back to the drawstring around the collar. (My rendition would have most certainly been fastened with a safety pin. Or duct tape.)

But Dane sang on. Even though Megan and I both knew. There was nothing particularly heroic about cape-making. Moms make things work. That's our job. And when we can't buy capes, we make them.

So our children can be superheroes.

And the irony of it all? This is what our children teach us to do.

Take Ben. In those late night feedings -- just as he dozed back to sleep -- I would whisper to him. You saved me. Not that I thought I was destined for a miserable existence ... though given my sleep deprivation, mean case of "you can look but don't touch" engorgement, and a belly full of staples it was in fact a bit miserable. Rather, I meant that by his birth alone he had managed to deliver a life time's worth of lessons to me. About the strength of my body. And my heart. Big lessons from such a tiny little person.

Had he really saved me? Or was it just mother's intuition? Only time would tell.

A few weeks ago I received a hand-written note in the mail. (Note to self: Bring back the handwritten letter.) It was from Mary Ann. She lives down the street from us (which made U.S. Post delivery even more notable) and she's also our Parents As Teachers educator. She knows a lot about our family. She wrote that she had been following the blog and was enjoying the anecdotes about the children. But it was the closing that got me. She wrote that she hoped things in our home were as positive as I painted them to be.

Well. They're not -- a least not all of the time. Who's life is?

But it's all relative. It's what I've chosen to make of it that's (perhaps) noteworthy. And positive.

By my calculation I get about 18 years with each of my children. At least with them at home. Ben is almost six. Which means I am almost a third of the way through. And you better believe that I am not going to be wasting one moment of that time being negative.

I'm planning to spend it being happy. I'll make every moment count. I'll be forgiving. I'll stand steadfast behind the decisions that best suit my family, even when they are unpopular. I'll be grateful. When things are broken, I'll fix them. I'll take care of myself so I can take care of them. Sometimes I'll choose to be here, even when you want me there. And I will try to be the person I want my children to become. Even when it's tiring. And I think they aren't watching. And when I fail, I will get up the next day and start again.

Ben taught me to do all of these things by his arrival alone.

And maybe that's how he saved me. And us.

So to all of those mothers out there who fix things, forgive, sacrifice, are there when someone else wants them to be here, who stand steadfast - even when it's tiring. And who make capes. So their children can be superheroes.

Happy Mother's Day.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rebecca,
    It was nice meeting you. Please sign up as a follower of my blog, as I have with yours. I love your line in this post, "You have saved me." I think all mothers can relate to that. I have been published in many Chicken Soup for the Soul Books; if you type in Linda O'Connell Chicken Soup you'll see a list. I look forward to reading your blog posts.