Yes, I’m a mom. I have been for over 21 years now, strange as it seems to say that. I’ve actually been a mother for more years than I wasn’t one. I have five kids. Yes five. Yes, I know what birth control is. Yes, my husband is lucky that I (apparently) don’t know how to say no. No, we’re not mormons, amish or part of that religious group like the Duggars where you try to have as many kids as possible. We’re just normal people who had a big family. Trust me, I’ve heard it all. Yes, I’m busy. Yes, I have my hands full. Sigh.
However, I don’t get the comments like that as much now as I did when the kids were little and we had to tow them everywhere with us. Nowadays, all the kids are 13+ and I rarely go anywhere with them all at the same time. They’re simply too busy. I’m too busy. They’re not interested in all the chores I have to run or the errands. Or they are already busy with things of their own to do. The only activity that gets them fighting over the shotgun seat these days is grocery shopping because goodness knows the teenagers have a vested interest in what food is in the house.
This weekend, my youngest got sick. Like running a fever, sniffling, dozing on the couch, can barely get up for the bathroom, body ache sick. It’s been a while since any of the kids have been sick like that. My caretaker instincts kicked into hyper drive.
I made him tea. I made him a hot toddy. I made him soup and toast. I rubbed vapo rub on his chest and neck. I sat and snuggled with him through one of his favourite movies and let him nestle his head into my shoulder and whisper to me about his favourite part that was just coming up.
I looked over at my husband a lot and remembered those days. Back when the kids were little and they really needed us. I started getting really schmoopy about it.
My oldest, Liam, who is now 21. I remembered him being three and looking SO MUCH like his little cousin Tiernan does now. How earnest and silly he was all at the same time. His soft brown hair and big hazel eyes. Then I thought about Keisha, now 19 and living back in Ontario. She is so strong and independent but I still remember her as the little girl I dressed almost exclusively in dresses. Her blonde ringlets and bright blue eyes so startling that we used to get stopped by strangers on the street to comment on what a breathtaking beauty she was.
Ash. My 16 year old. My mini me. Since day one my Aislinn has had a completely unique sense of humour. She has always been exactly her own person and I love that about her. She is coming into womanhood now with such grace and strength. I can’t wait to watch her take on the world. Kathryn, my book worm. She struggled so hard for so long with learning to speak, read and write and now, she reads over 70 books a year, plays flute beautifully and has a passion for literature that would put a blush on Yeats himself. She is beautiful and intelligent and wonderful.
Shawn Micheal, my baby. My 13 year old baby. My preemie, though you’d never know it now. I think coming from that so very medically challenged first year has set him up on a path to greatness. I’m also pretty sure he will be taller than me, which he loves.
How easy it is to forget, now that they’re all adults or quickly sprinting towards adulthood, those small chubby legged children who clung to me and climbed in my lap and called me Mummy. Instead of Mom. MAAHHHMMMMM! Or Mom-can-I-have. Even so, every now and then when I look at these tall, gorgeous kids, I see those toddlers, those five year olds, those ten year olds they were. I see it and it makes me very proud.
Thank you, dear children, for giving me the greatest role I’ve ever played. I hope you’ll let me reprise it for a few more years yet.