Friday, October 7, 2016

This Is New...lywed

So I'm married.

And with all the things that come with marriage, like trying not to elbow his face in the night, or remembering halfway through the physics quiz to tag Gil along with my other two names, I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be a wife and mother, and what kind of each I want to be.

And I have to say, I see both titles as so superior. As if they're displayed on the highest shelf of the spice pantry, and me hands-on-hips below the counter like a little kid, looking up and wondering how in the world I'm supposed to get to them. They sound like a Nobel prize, a doctorate degree, or a couple Olympic gold medals. And at the same time, as much as I esteem the occupation of Mom, it also comes off completely alien to me. Like the opposite side of the Timpanogos mountain, the back roads on the construction detour, or the whole-foods option on the bottom shelf of the cracker isle. I just can't see myself under the umbrella of these descriptions, really.

Well, I mean, I'm getting better. "My husband" easily drips now into my stream of conversation when describing him, and the fingers on my left hand have now fully acquainted themselves with the sapphire immigrant. And all in all, exploring the married life has been enjoyable to say the least. Any words I use to explain the joy, drastically underestimate the true value of being married. But I'd say "grand" is one of my favorite explanations.

But still, thinking of wife-ing and mothering basically stresses me out. A little bit. Maybe a lot, if I really think about it.

And I know I shouldn't stress, that it will be fine, and that when I get right down to it, I'll naturally be good at it survive. So I'm okay. One step at a time.

About a month ago I went to the Orem library. See, I'm trying to do more leisure reading, so I keep checking out interesting titles from the library to get myself back into the habit. I really do enjoy reading and every time I give myself the time I love it, but I just usually spend my days doing other things. So instead of reading I'm paying late fees because the book fell under my bed forgotten for three weeks. I am a sorry, uncultured case, and I'm ashamed of myself.

So anyway, aside from my state of declining literacy, I went to the library a while ago. As I was walking across the parking lot toward the entrance, I passed a small family. A mom and two little kids under the age of six. The mom was wearing jeans and a flowery blouse, and was holding a grocery bag of books in one hand, and the chubby fingers of one of the kids in her other, giving the closing statements of a very serious lecture. "So next time we come to the library are we gonna run around crazy and sit on statues?"

And while browsing the adult section in the ominous library silence, I saw another small family. This mom was wearing cargo pants paired with a small classy leather purse. She was also accompanied by two younger-than-six kids, one little girl on her back, and a little boy following behind. The piggy-backer had a coloring page, and the little boy was intently focused on his mom's i-phone in his hands. They were playing the library's Pokemon scavenger hunt that the staff had set up for that day. The boy intently whispered some critical discovery something to his mom as she came up close to the wall so her little girl could use its hard surface to color on her page.

So in thinking about wife and mother, maybe the most helpful to me for the moment is to look at the examples of mothers around me. And I don't want to downgrade the first mom by saying that I aspire to be the second. I'm sure the second mom's kids have had their run around crazy and sit on statues days, and I'm sure every mom has the necessity to give the hilarious-if-it-weren't-for-the-seriousness-of-the-moment lectures. But as much as I can, I want to be the mom in the cargo pants, with enough pockets for every flower, paper plane, and stick preceded with "look mom!". I want to compete with my kids in the scavenger hunts, and the playground races, and put the greatest effort toward keeping mom and friend synonymous. And, well, lots of other things that I wish to be and do in motherhood, as seen in the mothering of all those around me. (Shout out to my sister and sister in law! As well as my mom friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and most importantly the amazing angel mother of my own.)

And yeah, I know that's probably what all new mothers think, and then when the children come I let out a big "Ooooooooooh" and take my list of What Mothering Is off the fridge, fold it up, and send it in the next batch to D.I. for someone else who may find it useful.

So here's to all you D.I. shoppers I guess. Take what fits. At least it's cheap, so no hard feelings if it ends up in the back of your closet after one read. Thanks for shopping! Have a nice day!