Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Award Season

They should award Nobel Prizes to moms. To moms like me who do such selfless acts to further peace in the world, such as letting the nanny go home 40 minutes early. I should totally be in the running for this prize. Because what I think my motherhood experience is missing is the dazzling bit of pizazz that comes with awards and honors and ribbons and glory and recognition.

Wait. There is none of that for moms. Maybe I am in the wrong line of work.

I guess I will settle for having a wonderful experience spending time with my children on a daily basis. My dividends will pay off when I don't have to visit them on family day at the Cook County jail or spend their college savings on The Promises in Malibu so they can get sober with Lindsey Lohan or Brooke Mueller.

Actually, there is no guarantee for that either. I don't think science has figured out what makes someone addicted to drugs or alcohol, but if all it took to prevent that was having a semi-sane parent staying home during these formative years, I bet more people would do it if they could financially. They may end up at Ivy League colleges pounding beers and escaping pain that I know nothing about. Then again, they may skip those annoying 4 years of college to pursue a passion like culinary arts or ski instruction. The point is that I don't know what the future holds and 15 years is a long way away.

What I do know is that today was a great day, full of all the connections and activity beyond anything I could have dreamed of when I was toiling away at my former law firm (or staring out the window while "doing" document review or preparing interrogatories). Sadie and I went to visit my friend Trish for a little playdate, which Sadie thoroughly enjoyed as she sampled every single starch in Trish's pantry. On the way home, she kept asking me why she had flax seeds on her hands. I tried to explain that one of the many, many crackers she nibbled on during our visit was full of seeds that she could eat off her hands if she wanted. How there was any room in her stomach after eating cheddar bunnies, aramath crackers, water crackers, rice puffs, flax crackers and her own stockpile of raisins and peanut butter crackers is beyond me.

Then I took Simon to have his follow up appointment to verify that his ear infection has healed and followed that up with a lunch with another friend, Joyce. Simon is a really great 10-month-old dining partner. He likes to look around, take a few bites of food and smile at everyone. That he knocked over a big glass of ice water was really my fault.

I got to put both kids down for their naps. They are napping now. (Hence, the nanny early dismissal.) I am watching the sun start to sink down its wintery path that will leave us in darkness at about 4:30 p.m.

And, it's ok. We are going to have a quiet night here. We are going to play and have dinner and read books. Mommy will probably lay on the floor and see if the kids will just play nicely and quietly around her prone body. Then, they will be in bed and I will have had this day. This day, the prize that is all mine. It could all go to shit later and both kids could cry and whine from 5-8 p.m., but right now, as they lay sleeping and gathering energy for their afternoon assault, I can see a kind of perfection in this day that is what I was hoping to find when I left my job 10 months ago. As everyone else already knows, I only get today, so whether my future holds Swarthmore or DeVry or a stripper pole or anger management classes -- and let's be clear, any of those could be for me or for them-- I have today in my hands and am grateful for the chance to pause and appreciate all that I have.

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