Mom moments, the kind that make you laugh, cry or just yell a lot:
I was washing dishes this morning while the little girls were watching Thomas and the Magic Railroad. Or so I thought. With the pots clanging and the water gushing, I couldn’t really hear what was going on behind me. I finished the chore, turned around. Ellie had taken a giant roll of curling ribbon and unwound it as she circled the first floor — kitchen to dining to living to hall to kitchen — about a dozen times. She was very proud of herself. I had to bite my tongue and force a smile as I unwrapped my house, Ellie’s very heartfelt gift to me.
Or how about this Mom moment? We were living in our first house, a very tiny sort of space, when Mitzi and Cooper were somewhere around 2 and 1, I think. I had to go upstairs to use our only bathroom and left the kids alone for about ninety seconds. They decided to help themselves to a snack of Cheerios while I was gone. (I suspect it was Mitzi’s idea, but then again, Cooper sure did like those Os.) I laughed and snapped a picture.
Then there is a moment like this: Bedtime, all four kids ready for sleep. Joanna is in her crib; the other three are cuddled in Ellie’s bed. I sit at the foot and start to sing when Ellie whispers a question: “Is Santa all done for the year?” (We’ve been having this discussion for a day or so now.) Cooper assures her that he is. Then he says, “You know what we all got for Christmas this year? A great family.”
Moments like this are why we laugh at the other times when we really, really, really want to yell and throw stuff. Real, real Mom moments that are priceless and gild the memory of the other moments: the moldy Cheerios found at the bottom of an old puzzle box, the names etched in two pieces of brand-new furniture, the broken glass or picture frame or window.
And the best part? The moments never stop, and, like Forrest Gump’s mom pointed out, you never know what you’re going to get.