Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Serenity, maternal style

When my kids were babies, their sleeping was pure bliss for me. In the blink of an eye, I was suddenly transformed from that raving, stressed-out lunatic to a content and happy mother, adoring her child. I loved to watch my children sleep. I was exactly like that mom in I Love You Forever. I really did crawl into their rooms to watch them snooze. I was completely, totally in love with my children but sometimes didn't feel it until they were asleep. For some reason, that's the only time when I was rational about it - when I could separate my anxiety from my heart and know that I was happy to be a mom.

Now that my kids are teens or almost teens, the sound of their sleep is another kind of bliss. It means they're home, safe and sound, not doing anything that I need to question or worry about. They're still sort of under my protection and guidance, but I don't have to explain anything to them and, this is key, they aren't talking back. They aren't messing things up, taking things out and not putting them away, feeding themselves without cleaning up, making loud noises that grate on my nerves or generally driving me insane. They're home and they're quiet. Life is good.

When my children were young and I was sleep-deprived and very happy to complain about it to everyone, friends with older children would knowingly smile and say: "Little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems." At the time, besides being annoyed, I also couldn't imagine what would be worse than never being able to sleep. I'm older now and, as my friends predicted, the fears loom larger: grades, SATs, ACTs, college applications, girlfriends, drunk drivers, drugs, cruel friends, catty girls, fashion temptations. The list goes on and on. The list used to consist of: ear infections, throat infections, not sleeping, toilet training, learning to read, not sleeping, etc. All things that they'd run to me to fix or make better.

What's the difference in these problems besides age and attitude? The difference is that I could fix the young problems whereas the "older" problems only allow me to advise, watch and pray.

Sometimes I'd take sleep deprivation in a heartbeat.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home