Sometimes Collin has PB&J two days in a row. Sometimes all he eats for dinner are french fries. Some days he watches more than one Mickey Mouse Clubhouse…. a lot more than one. Once in a while he has more than two cups of juice a day, and only one cup of milk. There have been a few instances where I have all but locked him in his play room just so I could read a few pages of a book, or empty the dishwasher without his “help” or go to the bathroom in peace.
Sometimes I forget that I am supposed to call someone back, or that a bill is due and I need to get a check in the mail, or that I need gas in my car before I can go anywhere. Some days I think that it would just be so much easier NOT to go out to dinner with friends, or ask my mom to watch Collin again. Once in a while I think about how things used to be and how much easier it would be to not have a child now. There are days where I would give anything to sleep in, do anything I want, and tell responsibility where it can go.
On the other hand, I can hear Collin’s giggle in my mind and it instantly brings a smile to my face. I picture his piercing blue eyes and want to go wake him up just so I can look at him and soak him in even more. I imagine the sensation of his little hand entwining itself with mine as I sit with my arm around him on the couch before bedtime. I can hear the metronome of his breathing as he falls asleep on my shoulder when I rock with him before bed. I can tell you just where the one lonely freckle below his knee is and how when he runs his right arm swings more than his left.
I consider it a triumph that I have managed to retain part of myself as a person and I do get to go out with friends and I can’t even explain how excited I get when I am on my way home and call to find out Collin is still awake so I get to kiss him goodnight. I find so much joy in watching my friends and family interact with him and enjoy him like I get to every day. I remember on a regular basis that, while motherhood certainly is not the easiest thing in the world, it is definitely the best job ever. I have never felt more rewarded than I do when I get a hug from Collin, or when he gets excited to see me, or when someone tells me what a great little boy he is.
I may not be a perfect mother, but I am the best version I know how to be. I take things as they come, learn from my mistakes, and consider it all a great adventure. If all I accomplish along the way is raising a kind, warm, gentle, caring son then I have succeeded.