I'm awake before the sun today. Before the baby. Even the dog shook his head at me and went back to sleep. I’m not sure what woke me. There’s the final rumblings of a storm, the low growl of thunder, the occasional flash of lightening.
It isn’t often I’m awake before the babies. It’s usually Benji’s ‘Mommmmeeee! Mumu-mum-mum-MOMMMEEEE’ that rings me into wakefulness around 5:30am every morning. Or Ellie’s sweet singing, a lullaby or just a random song that includes what’s she doing right now. “It’s mooorrrnning and I’m sitting in my roooom. Toby is jumping on my beeed. What should I doooo todaaayyy….”
I love my children. They make me laugh and cry, and raise up in me a fierce protectiveness that surprises even me. I thought I was all sweetness and light but it turns out when it comes to my kids I am also claw and fang. Mama Bear Lives Here.
In any case, it is nice to have a moment alone. A hot cup of tea to myself. The utter darkness outside pressing heavy at the windows. My own thoughts clattering into order as I write this.
If I sound a little more poetic today than I usually do it’s because my attention isn’t divided between hauling Benji’s head out of Toby’s mouth (or butt), and explaining (again) to Ellie why being on electronics too much is bad for her brain. And then explaining why she’s going to have a banana or an apple right now instead of another bag of gold fish.
Why did I take them out for Halloween again? Not to be a downer but the thrice daily negotiations over eating a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner BEFORE she gets into her stash as well as one, two or THREE treats this time is slowly wearing down my will to live.
I’ve also been reading poetry again. I found a delightful book of poems that speaks to my whole soul - Nikita Gill’s ‘Fierce Fairytales - Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul.’
Consider this soul stirred.
Ah, the deliciousness of reading poetry that skips rational and logical explanations and just sings into your heart! Zing! I love it. It’s all about women - about how strong and amazing we are.
As a woman I am just now becoming aware of all the ways our society doesn’t acknowledge or appreciate women in countless ways. From lack of prenatal care for lower income women to the meager amount of time we’re allotted for maternity-care leave. Twelve weeks? Really? Unpaid? REALLY? But I thought you said being a mom was the most important job on the planet?
These first few years of my children’s life are the most important cognitively, and emotionally. I have been so blessed to have been able to be here with them full time. To teach them myself about the wonder of the everyday world. About how numbers are fascinating and never end, about how books are the very best thing to curl up with on a rainy day.
To communicate to Ellie how very beautiful she is, but that outer beauty is just a pretty shell on the beach. There are millions of those. Real beauty is kindness, and bravery.
This time with them is priceless and once it’s gone you can never get it back. And I am one of about 23% of women who have been able to afford to do this.
Even still, the gap in my working history will penalize me an average of eleven thousand dollars a year for the rest of my working life.
Being a mom is the most important job on the planet. It’s more important than making money. It’s more important than being in a position to be able to wield change that could benefit all women everywhere.
The job of nurturing and raising children is literally what our future hinges upon. I’m a little worried the power to be able to do and be that isn’t in our own very capable hands.
Her mother told her
she could grow up to be
anything she wanted to be,
so she grew up to become
the strongest of the strong,
the strangest of the strange,
the wildest of the wild,
the wolf leading the wolves.'