This I Believe

Christine - Alta Loma, California
Entered on November 19, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
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This I believe

I believe in the power of mommy. I am one of thirteen children; I have six brothers and six sisters. My childhood was nothing short of controlled chaos. The front door was constantly open bringing in children with friends and neighbors. There were two to three loads of laundry every day, I can still remember the sound “thump thump, thump” of the hamper being pulled down the stairs on the way to the washer. Grandma could be found rocking a baby in the backyard, singing a French lullaby. Mom never ever stopped. In fact the only times in my childhood that I saw her rest for literally ten minutes on the living room couch was when she was in her last trimester with the latest addition. And even then, we the children would not hesitate to interrupt her to ask for yet another cookie. She has been described as a saint. She had the patience of Ghandi. And as her child I knew nothing else.

Now I am a mom of two boys. I knew that when I became a mom, there was no other option than making that my full time career. I bake cookies, I play Batman, I go to the park almost daily. It is me who wipes my boys’ tears and celebrates his latest accomplishment. I am the one he runs to after successfully climbing a tree or writing a letter correctly. I battle him for control. I lose my temper and come close to tears on some days. I am the one who listens to his daydreams and who tells yet another chapter of our ongoing “Jack and Joey” stories. Some days I couldn’t be less stimulated, missing the banter of adult interaction. I sit back and remember the highs and lows of my profession, the sense of accomplishment and the opportunity to learn from my mistakes. I miss the respect I was shown and the laughter I shared in that had nothing to do with the potty humor of my four year old.

When other moms hear that I am at home full time, they say, gosh I just don’t have the patience for that. Or, I need more in life. I smile and nod, realizing that they believe I am different than them. They actually think that I adore wiping bottoms and shoving squished bananas in a toddler’s mouth for a living.

My mom gave me her greatest gift; she gave me her presence everyday of my life. Granted I had to compete with many others to get her attention but she was there, in the kitchen, in the laundry room, in the car. She gave me the security that I would have a mom to talk to or sing with whenever I wanted. She lost her patience and probably came close to tears on some days. But my mom gave me the blueprint of mommyhood.