Monday, January 27, 2014

Honor Thy Mother

It's a sunny Zero degrees outside ... probably colder with wind chill ... and sparkly white snow abounds. Nine years ago today, it was quite different. Not as cold, not as snowy, but memorable in its own way. As Sherlock Holmes would say, nine years ago A Game was Afoot.

It's inevitable. I'm a sentimental creature that enjoys reflecting. And this day always begins with me smiling as I roll out of bed and remember what occurred nine years ago this very day. It began like most days ... me rising to go workout at 5:47 a.m.. But the workout was different. It was pre-natal yoga. And, unlike today when I successfully got out of bed at 5:47 a.m. and did indeed complete a Barre3 Ballet Boot Camp challenge, the workout didn't get done.

See, nine years ago today, my daughter was born. And like most mothers will tell you when they are about to go into labor, they know that something is "different." Couldn't tell you exactly what it is. But it is something. And I knew that morning ...

Now, I won't go into all the details of labor etc. But, anyone who has gone through it knows it ain't easy. I didn't have it too bad ... pre-natal yoga prepared me both mentally and physically. But ...

So anyway, as I smile and think about this amazing now Nine year old girl (well, Technically she's not nine till 10:25 tonight), I think back on her arrival. The experience. The drama. The pain. The joy. The exhaustive exhilaration. The sense of accomplishment and awe as I first held her in my arms. And I not only celebrate HER but I honor myself as well since I brought her into this world. 

Moms are amazing creatures. Our children wouldn't be here if women weren't willing to undergo serious physical wear and tear, sacrificing their bodies for the sake of another human life. No offense guys, but your contribution during the nine months of gestation -- though initially dramatic, enjoyed and appreciated -- was kinda limited. Oh, you accept the blunt of female hormones flying your way along with emotional outbursts and the 3am demands for Taco Bell, that is true. And I commend you for your patience. 

HOWEVER, it is the woman whose body morphs into a new design. The woman who finally enjoys a new buxom silhouette, only to have to share the cleavage as a menu item and watch it disappear to a size smaller afterward. It is the woman who endures morning sickness and the pain (and yes, it is painful) of delivery. It is the woman who brings forth the new life and feels that little essence every minute of the nine months .... 

It is the woman who has to buy a new wardrobe of fairly expensive clothing that she only wears for a brief period of time. The woman who has to get back in shape after baby -- and gets asked if she's lost the baby fat yet. It is the woman who endures the regular pats on the tummy and queries about names and when are you due. It is the woman who goes to the doctor and climbs on that scale -- probably the most a terrifying thing short of labor -- to see and hear how much weight she's gained. It is the woman who is poked and prodded and tested. It is the woman who gives up alcohol and caffeine. The woman who struggles with sleep just when she needs it most! And though our men support us, they just can never truly understand what is going on since they won't ever undergo such a metamorphosis.

Pretty amazing, when you think of it. All the things a Mother does during "The Before." The "After" is shared of course. But the joy of a dual-existence "under one roof" cannot be fully understood if you haven't been there. It's amazing. And special. Scary and extraordinary. 

So, here's a thought ... When your birthday arrives, take a moment and honor your mother for all these reasons and more. Your birthday was one of her greatest accomplishments. You were connected to her physically for nine months. And a mother's love continues to connect you to her for always.

Happy Birthday to my little girl ... and Bravo, well-done to me too.

                                                                                                                               -- Jenni