Being a mom is not really that glamorous, despite what Hollywood makes you think. In movies every mom has the perfect body but never works out or watches what she eats. She has perfect hair and make-up when she rolls out of bed and a fabulous selection of clothes that all fit her perfectly. (what wouldn’t fit perfectly on a perfect body, right?) Her children are laughing and happy and loving to her and each other at all times, and everywhere she goes she is wearing high heels that DON’T hurt like h@#* with every step she takes.
Yeah…that’s not really how it is. I hate to bust the bubble of anyone who isn’t a mom yet…but that’s just a load of crap. I know some movies try to capture the real feeling of motherhood. They show crying, and tantrums, and messy rooms. But the mom is still wearing perfect clothes on her perfect body and has her hair and makeup perfect when she rolls out of bed, so it’s a big giant FAIL on the movie industry’s part. Not to mention the fact that the actress is aware of all the crazy things that are about to take place, so her looks of shock and horror are not anywhere close to what a real mom’s face looks like on a daily basis. And I KNOW the smile she is wearing while carting her kids places in THREE INCH HEELS is a lie.
So all the fun of watching movies about moms is lost on me. I either think “Yeah right” or I think “Wouldn’t it be nice if my life looked like that?”
I have been searching for the glamour in my life lately, because I read recently that it’s easy to only see the things you want to change, and miss the things that are good. So I have been looking.
Yesterday I was cooking dinner, my three big kids (I call them that for lack of a better term. They aren’t really big. They are 9, 7, and soon to be5) were riding bikes in the front yard, and the baby (he will be 2 in a few weeks) was playing in the floor with…who even knows what he was playing with. It could have been crayons, or toys, or something else harmless, but more likely it was scissors, or cat poop, or a roll of stamps.
So, in the middle of cooking, when I am doing one of those “stir constantly for 5 minutes” steps on a recipe, Faith comes careening into the house. This is the conversation.
“Mom! We found a mouse outside!”
“What? Is it dead or alive?”
“Dead. The boys are playing with it.”
“Gross! Go right now and tell them not to touch it with their hands. They can use sticks or something!”
She left and a few seconds later returned. “Actually, it’s not a mouse. It’s an opossum!”
“OH MY GOSH!!!! You found a dead opossum in our yard? Did you tell the boys to stop touching it?”
She ran out again, and returned again. “Okay, it’s not an opossum. It’s a mole. The boys are only touching it with sticks now.”
After what seemed like an eternity, in which I was envisioning the boys tossing a dead opossum back and forth like a football, my ‘stir constantly’ step ended, and I turned off the stove. “Faith, watch Gabe for a second while I go sort this out.” I hurried outside barefooted, expecting to find…well, truthfully, I had no expectations. It had been an opossum, a mouse, and a mole, so maybe by now it was a human hand or something. Rounding the corner, I saw Nate and Clay in the front yard, holding big sticks, oblivious to my presence. They were taking turns flipping the thing over with their ‘pokers’ and laughing.
“Mom!” Clay yelled as I approached. “Come see what we found! It’s AWESOME!”
It was in fact a mole. A baby one, which is why they thought it was mouse at first. Who knows WHERE the opossum came from??? It was quite dead (thank goodness) and the boys promised me they hadn’t been touching it. I asked to borrow Nate’s stick and took my own turn poking it.
“Look, boys. See his teeth? That’s so he can tunnel through the dirt. He uses his mouth to dig. And do you see his eyes? They are really tiny, because he is always underground in the dark and doesn’t need to see that well. Cool huh?” I sent Clay to the backyard to get a bucket so we could scoop up the mole for further study. (and to show their daddy, cause they really wanted him to see it) While Clay was gone, Nate said “Watch this Mommy. If I hit him really hard it bounces him up in the air.” I stopped him from further mutilating our afternoon discovery, and when the bucket arrived I scooped the mole into it with the two sticks.
“Now go inside and wash your hands,” I instructed both boys as we deposited our find on the porch to await Daddy’s arrival. They turned to obey and Clay smiled at me in sheer bliss. “Thanks Mom, for letting us keep it!” As he darted into the house, I was tempted to yell after him that we were NOT keeping a dead mole in a bucket on our porch. It was only till their daddy got home to see it. But then Nate said “Yeah, thanks Mom. You’re the best,” and so I let them go without a word.
Now I can promise you that at some point today the mole in the bucket will accidently disappear. Maybe it will miraculously recover from whatever caused its death in the first place (and from all its broken body parts thanks to Nate smacking it to see how high it would flip) and wander back to its home. Maybe it will get eaten by a hungry, sad, stray animal. Probably I will sneak outside while no one is looking and pitch it in the trash can.
But the point of my story is this: Motherhood is NOT perfect. It’s not even close. Nor is it particularly fabulous to the world’s eyes. There is dirt, and messes, and crying, and dirty diapers, and lack of sleep, and love handles, and spoiled milk, and gray hairs, and slippers instead of heels…but occasionally, if you look hard, you will see what I saw yesterday.
In my little boys eyes, I am VERY glamorous.