Double-digit motherhood

May 13, 2017

“You’re going to be 10 this Mother’s Day.” That’s what my daughter, Nikki, just informed me. She has only just arrived in double-digit territory in the past couple of months. I am in the thick of my fifties, but I realize she is right. Just 10 years ago, I had never celebrated Mother’s Day as anyone’s mommy.

 

My mind wandered back to that first Mother’s Day. There I was at my sister’s for brunch, showing off my pink-swaddled bundle of coo. I was there among the “real moms” with more than a century of double-digit motherhood among them – my own mother and sister, as well as my brother-in-law’s mom in the room.

 

When Nikki was nuzzled into my shoulder, I could feel the warm weight of her little body against me, pinned there like a star, and I was in heaven. After a long hard journey, I had finally arrived. But then a while later she began squawking and I found myself longing for a mimosa. I was elbow-deep, bent over an unfamiliar port-a-crib, a tub of Balmex at the ready, trying to figure out what she could possibly need.

 

She was completely dry, a relief since I was not looking forward to changing her amid the hubbub. She also spit out the bottle I placed in her mouth. All dressed up for the first time since giving birth, I was not about to breastfeed (yes, I was doing both and it is possible). But the fussing continued and I was out of options, with a wailing baby now in the crook of my arm. My older sister arrived, snatched her from me and bounced her gleefully until the wailing stopped. I was exposed as the want-a-be I still felt I was -- a veritable newborn mother in a strange world.

 

But here Nikki was now, informing me of my upcoming double-digit day. I think of earlier in the week when she jokingly leaped into my arms, still light enough for me to hold, but now all arms and legs and a head above me as I lifted her. “I won’t be doing this much longer,” she informed me. “I won’t be able to,” I reply. The times they are a-changin. Soon she will have secrets and crushes and I will be new to motherhood once again – newborn to the teen years. It is all flying by. I exhale and console myself. First, now a master of the initial decade, I still get to enjoy my special Mother’s Day at 10!

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