I just wanna be the mom.
Alex’s head rests on my shoulder in the waiting room, my arm across the back of his chair. He lets me kiss his hair. He doesn’t feel good. I know, his father knows. We need someone to explain why.
Another puzzle. His belly, his behavior. Specialists. A second appointment. “You do know your child best.” Consult, consult, re-evaluate, adjust.
The weight of Alex’s body against mine grounds me because I know he is seeking comfort and he finds it in that unspoken connection. It is communication and I know what it means, I understand and don’t second guess.
I just wanna be the mom, the one to stroke his hair and bring him soup. To talk softly or read books. To let him rest on my lap.
But so much of the time that’s not how it seems to go. Parents lead teams, fight for justice, find answers, forge new paths…. don’t we?
< sigh >
I am just the mom. Maybe I’m supposed to feel as if I’m on a horse charging through the forest, riding on to victory! Wind in my hair, a confident counterpart to a powerful animal leaping obstacles. Adrenaline rush and excitement at conquering the challenge!
But no, my reality feels more like the Teacup Ride at the amusement park. Tinny carnival music slightly off key, clanking of safety locks & bars, the whir of start up after a half-hearted warning about risks & keep-your-hands-and-feet-inside-the-car by a lazy, monotone, uninterested attendant. Then the exhilarating feeling of leaning to the right to be abruptly yanked to the left into an endless circle. Sliding along the seat, bumping into your cup-mates, grabbing the wheel in the middle to stay stable– and wondering who else might turn it at full force to make your stomach flip flop as you fly around again at nauseating speed.
If you resist the momentum or try to focus on real life beyond the ride, you feel sick. If you yield to the movement, you find a fleeting thrill– maybe even a joyous freedom. Then it ends too soon and you’re back to the hot, crowded line to wait for another try. It’s the resistance that causes pain. And whether you ride without resistance or not, you’re likely to make yourself sick anyway.
I just wanna be the mom.
I hold my breath and attempt a calm smile, an even tone, picturing a ballroom dancer in a flowing dress being led by her partner around the dance floor, poised gracefully to be turned and dipped and spun at will. Giving the illusion of control and strength, able to dance without falling, to step without causing pain, to perform a role.
“Yes, we have the information you requested. Could you please tell us when we might be seen?”
All the while, my mind seeks answers, spinning like a tea cup, trying to focus, feeling confused and frustrated, wondering why this all can seem so hard.
I just wanna be the mom. I was born to be the mom. Not the spinning performer, the equestrian archer, the triumphant solver-of-problems!
When it all comes to a complete stop, when my day ends and the safety locks slide apart, I find my footing and move again to the sidelines. I feel tired. My head rests on Aubrey’s shoulder and I sink just a bit, as her arms wrap around me, holding me still to stop the spinning inside. There is relief in that unspoken connection. It is communication and I know what it means, I understand and don’t second guess.
I still just wanna be the mom.
I will try again tomorrow.