Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Letting go

This morning I woke up angry. Spitting fire. Without words to describe what was going through my mind. Coffee didn't help.

BG and I had an appointment downtown to do another experiment at 9:30, and at 8:30 I realized that we weren't dressed and BG hadn't eaten. There was no way in the world to not be late. And I hate being late.

I threw clothes on us both, put her in her car seat with some Cheerios (mom of the year, right here), and booked it to the city.

The pretty young grad student met us at the gate, the same one that did our study last time. And BG sat quietly in my lap and cheerfully watched the video she was shown, only looking away a few times. A physics genius, my one year old. She grabbed the "Where's Pooh" book off the thank you gift shelf before she was even offered something. She babbled and giggled all the way to my car.

I pulled out of the parking lot. My gas light went on. BG started saying "mamamamamamama" and signing for food, both with increasing intensity. I looked at the clock and thought of how long it would take us to get home, of how much I had to do to get there. I turned corners, apologizing to my baby, listening to the petulant woman on my GPS tell me she was "recalculating" every five seconds.

And that is how I found myself in front of the botanical gardens, a furious baby in my back seat, my gas needle below empty, at 10:00 on a Wednesday morning.

And I parked my car.

Climbed into the backseat.

BG giggled when she saw me. We sat in the car and I fed her an applesauce, nursed her, and talked to her a little. Then I scooped up my now-pleasant baby, grabbed my diaper bag, and went inside.

The ticket was $12, which is a lot of money for me (I'm well aware how lame that sounds), but I didn't even pause. I grabbed a map, paid the lady and in we went.

I immediately realized I hadn't brought my stroller and my hip was getting sore, so I set BG down on the ground and let her run. At first I tried to hold her hand and read the map, but I quickly realized I wasn't the one in charge.

So I let go.

We stared at the fish. We pointed at the banzai trees. We walked around the orchid room 5 times.

Then she reached out her hand for me to take it and we walked out.

This job, of being a mom? I'm not patient enough for it. I'm not brave enough for it. I'm not strong enough for it. But this job of being my kid? BG has that one down pat.

And maybe that's all we need.


  1. Sounds like a great day . . . what an amazing experience for both you and BG. While I doubt that we are the only two moms in the world that feel like we are not patient enough, strong enough or brave enough, know that I am right there with you . . . at least you aren't alone.

  2. I have had this day. After dd1 was up every freakin hour, she decided that 5 am was wakeup o'clock. I was spitting fire and barely functioning. But I knew if I cold only get her back to sleep I might have a chance. Shushing a screaming 9 month old I tried to sneak out of the beach house to drive her around. My mom busted me as I looked for a wallet and keys. She insisted on coming with us.

    So we got in the car, and I drove. And I stopped at every stinking donut shop on 17s from north myrtle beach to Georgetown. And there was coffee. And donuts. Lots of both. And the baby fell asleep. And my mom quietly asked if I might want to check out a sculpture garden that she wanted to see but my dad never wanted to drive to. So we went to Walmart for diapers, wipes, clothes, toy, sunscreen, snacks because I left without the diaper bag. And we toured the gardens. Then went down to tour the house owned by the people that did the sculpting. And there was laughter.

    And it is still one of my favorite days.

  3. It sounds like a great day. Sometimes just letting go makes everything feel a little bit better.

  4. Sending lots of hugs. I think you are an amazing Mom, and that you will figure all of these days out together. You are brave!

  5. Oh this was another beautiful and real post. I felt the same pressure you felt as I was reading this because I do the same thing. I get so frazzled and then Donut just looks at me and smiles. She smiles! She loves being my baby! Like BG loves being yours.

  6. I loved this. I recognize that feeling of being totally stressed and frazzled. I used to feel that way most mornings actually. The girls just love being themselves. I try to see myself through their eyes. I just see a mommy who loves her girls very much and is doing the very best that she can in whatever moment she is in.