Being Right

February 28, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop | 13 Comments

I couldn’t sleep last night. I tried my left side, my right side. Everything everywhere hurt. Bun kicked me, hard, no matter how I repositioned, no matter how many pillows I added and subtracted. So I wondered; I worried.

Is that right? Is he all right?

Dinnertime at our house sometimes sounds like a scratchy, stuck 45: “Eat five more bites, four more bites, one more bite. A bite of apple. Just take a bite … of something!” I wonder; I worry. Is that right? Will they be all right?

Lollipop is perpetually wary (scared?) of newness. New places, new noises, new friends, new adventures. Sometimes I make her try things. Just go down the slide. Just go with the other kids. Just go. On your own. I wonder; I worry. Is that right? Is she all right?

Giggles hates the doctor’s office. So I hold him down for his shots. Listen to him wail while the nurse sticks the needles in. Hug him tight and nuzzle his neck after it’s over. I wonder; I worry. Is that right? Is he all right?

When it feels right.

Sometimes I think about all I’m responsible for teaching them: about love, life, loss, empathy, selflessness, happiness. Sometimes the weight of being “the mother” — the weight of being “their mother” — presses in on me from the inside. Every breath scalds my frozen lungs. My heart is surely too small to hold all the aches. Too small to heal them.

There’s no room: to breathe, to love, to be. I wonder; I worry. How will I mother? And will it be right?

Sometimes the weight isn’t there. Sometimes my heart is open and full. Like when I tuck Lollipop’s blankets back around her at 2 a.m. When I stroke Giggles’ hair and he presses his forehead to mine. When we all have chocolate milk, just because it’s Thursday. And there’s plenty of room. In my heart. For love, for pain, for mistakes, for healing. It feels right.

Then, the weight, the hugeness of being a mother. I’m locked out of my own heart. I don’t know anything. Don’t know everything. So I wonder; I worry. And I hope.

That I’m right. That we’ll be all right.



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  1. Ain’t that the truth!?!?!

    You do your best, and that’s right. Lollipop, Giggles, and Bun are lucky.

  2. This spoke straight to my heart… only a fellow mama can truly understand!

  3. I’m with Corinne, Stacia: This post really hit me in the gut. I worry all the time, always ask myself “is this okay?” or “is he okay?” You express this universal mothering feeling so perfectly: “the weight, the hugeness of being a mother. I’m locked out of my own heart. I don’t know anything. Don’t know everything. So I wonder; I worry. And I hope.” Beautiful. Really beautiful.

  4. I worry all the time. It’s hard shoving all those feelings down. I try not to…but it’s always there:/

  5. Even the fact that you wonder about the ‘rightness’ of the way you are mothering is a good sign, I think. The fact that we want to do right by our children — whatever right means to us in terms of teaching them how to eat, how to be independent, what is good for them — is what is most right.

    I know with my children, I hover on the edges, trying not to be to anxious, trying to let them try things and fall, to discover things without guiding (or holding) their hands through everything. But to still be there.

    And to let them know: I am always right there.

  6. *too* anxious, rather. 🙂

  7. Boy, can I relate. I worry so much, about everything. Who knew that motherhood meant constant anxiety, constant questioning of yourself?

  8. Usually I would joke and tell you that they have a prescription for that! But not today. I hear that all to clearly. The worry. Did I just scar my child for life? Am I doing all that I can for them?
    This is the crap they don’t tell you about before you decide to get pregnant!

  9. Oh boy, do I know where you are coming from! My Pixie is similar to Lollipop. Especially about the eating and the timidity. I worry about it a lot. Probably more then I should. I’m a worrier anyway, and damn! being the Mother does not make that any easier. There is so much truth in this post.

  10. Lovely writing on such a tough subject. Sounds to me like you have it much more figured out than you give yourself credit. I like to believe that the love makes sure they WILL be all right, but I too, doubt myself on that one at times.

  11. S, I’m sitting here crying just grateful that you are who you are and that your children picked you as their mom. Beautiful stuff, beautifully written.

  12. I wonder this myself. Each and every day, if not every moment. I sometimes find it overwhelming. All the love, but all that worry that comes with it. You’ve captured it succinctly, beautifully.

  13. Love your writing. And I think good parents do question if we are making the right decisions and how it will all play out in the end.

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