Friday, April 5, 2013

Mom the Illusionist

Overall, I think I'm pretty good at this mom thing. Not SuperMom by any means, but I see my smart, confident, productive little guy--who isn't so little anymore--and I think, "Yeah, I'm doing all right." Not to take any props from his dad or stepdad, but let's face it, our son spends the bulk of his time with me and who's going to take the brunt of his neurosis should he wind up in therapy? It's always Mom's fault. Conversely, I think we can claim the lioness's share of the pride in a child's success.

Anyhoo, as I stated, on any given day, were you to ask me if I have confidence in my mothering skills I would answer with a resounding, "Yes!" This week is not one of those occasions. It seems I've bitten off more than I can chew in terms of motherly responsibilities and I feel as though I'm juggling torches just trying not to burn my fingers.

Over the past few months, I unsuspectingly added an activity here and there to my already hectic schedule, all in the name of Good Intentions...yes, yes, yes, road to hell...paved with...I know.

In the past few weeks I've found myself dashing from PTA commitments, spring break revelry, charitable donations, baseball team assistant coaching activities (the hubs is the head coach which may lead to divorce, LOL, I'll keep you updated), birthday parties and play dates. Sorry, NOT play dates--appointments to hang out with his friends. As I prepped for this weekend's craziness, I reflected on my general mood and the quality of my parenting choices this week. Well, let's just put it this way: I've said several things I regret, usually with that "why-are-you-making-me-crazy?" tone. We've eaten far more fast food than usual. I've had several hissy fits that involve dashing around the house shouting, "Where are my freaking keys???" The house is downright unsanitary and the laundry piles are large enough that they're organizing a revolt. I can hear them whispering. In short, I feel like the sorcerer's apprentice in the Disney classic, dashing from mess to mess unable to contain the chaos.

This morning, I've had a rare moment of calm. DS is at school, the hubs is at work. I've backed the laundry into the washroom with a whip and a dining room chair. And I thought back to my mother who, as a military wife with a visual handicap, faced challenges I can't even imagine. As a child, her supposed limitations never crossed my mind because--as if by magic--meals appeared at regular intervals, clothes found their way into my dresser, I made it to my fair share of activities and birthday parties, armed with gifts that manifested fully wrapped as if from the ether. Being on the flip side of that equation, I'm positive there was so much effort that went into my mother's seemingly seamless execution of her duties.

The thought made me realize that the product of all this behind-the-scenes work is a necessary illusion. I'm not the apprentice, I am the sorcerer who steps in and commands an army of orderly forces to keep the chaos at bay. The daily madness that has me pulling my hair out weaves a cocoon of stability and affection for my son. He knows I cook the meals, wash the clothes, de-funk the house and do the bulk of the errands, but he mostly sees the end result--not the effort--which is as it should be.

One day, when he has a child or two of his own, he'll understand what went on when he wasn't looking. Until then, I get to play the role of the sorcerer and it's the toughest job I've ever loved. Now, if I could just find my freaking!

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