In my younger, kid-free days, I was much more of a free spirit. I was spontaneous, daring and carefree. I thought the world was my oyster and life was long enough to live every moment I dreamed of living. I thought time had nothing against my big dreams and plans. To top it off, I believed with every morsel of my being that I could take life by the balls and own it.
To be fair, I am still a take-life-by-the-balls kind of women but I also know that at any moment, life could pull a sweep, single leg takedown and face plant me into the earth.
So, I've always considered myself to be a leaper or a cliff jumper. I've never done anything halfway. I rock barefeet over sneakers. I chop off all my hair because I've never been a "just to my shoulders kind of girl." I bought my first camera before I knew whether or not I'd ever be able to figure out how to use it. I eat five pieces of pizza in one sitting even though I know the regret is inevitable, and I pop out babies before I even think about whether or not now is the right time. But again, I also realize now that I am not indestructible and wild spirits must sometimes be tamed.
So, the tides are changing alongside this motherhood journey I am on. I can feel my reserve setting in. I am slowly becoming less and less of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of women.
Motherhood has this incredible way of inspiring you while also scaring the shit out of you.
I'm a momma of four. My heart quite literally walks around in four tiny pieces every single day of my life. And all the glamorous plans I had of being a "super cool mom" flew out the window along with my time and ability to pee alone.
I vowed that motherhood would never change me and that I would be the kind of mom who would allow curfews to stretch and would hand over car keys without question. Hell, I believe when I was 17 years old, I said --and I quote-- "I will let my teenagers smoke pot in my house one day because at least I'll know what they're up to." Is that serious? WAS I SERIOUS? What did little 17 year old me know then? I had no effin' clue what it was like to love someone more than myself. I had no idea that mother's had to tiptoe along eggshells every single day of their lives because they understand all the pain of the world and hope like hell their kids will never have to.
17 year old me never had the experience of waking up in the middle of the night, when the rest of the world was still, to the sound of a sleeping baby. 17 year old me never picked that baby up and whispered into that baby's ear that she would always, always, always, always protect her. 17 year old me never knew what it was like to wake up everyday with only one thing on her mind: to keep that promise-- to mama-bear her way through life, claws out and ready to fight for her cubs at any given moment. 17 year old me had no fucking clue what it would feel like to send your kid off to middle school every single day. Middle school was hell for me. Absolute hell. I am sending my child to hell every single day and I am not their to protect him.
So that fearless free spirit I once was? Well, she's grown up. She's a momma now.
My children's lives are flying by. I see them growing and I cannot help but hope that they don't inherit their mother's love to test fate or walk barefoot.
Because you know what? My kids harbor the beauty of innocence. They still think the world is good and free of hurt. They truly believe themselves to be invincible. And on top of that, they still do not understand the depths of my love for them. They don't realize that when they risk their hearts or lives, they are risking mine too.
They are too young to grasp that when I say, "be safe, and make smart decisions" I really mean, "I cannot live a day without you," "the world is scary and unsafe," "I feel every morsel of pain you feel," or "every breath you take keeps me breathing."
So I may not be the cool mom I thought I would be when I was 17. I will never just hand over the car keys without asking questions and I sure as hell won't condone them smoking pot in my home, but you can bet your ass that my kids will be smothered with love. In-your-face, I-want-to-know-everything-about-you love. Over protective Mom's are totally hip, right?
I may not be the cool mom, but I am definitely the real mom.