It’s Mother’s Day, the one day a year I can make The Bug give hugs every 8 seconds (one day HE WILL GROW UP PEOPLE! and his long eyelashes will no longer get him off the hook, and then I’ll be bailing him out of jail and attending therapy with him, which I’ll most likely have to fund)  because morally, it’s the right thing for him to do.  This is the one day a year I can expect unabashed respect and that he will not eat my deodorant if I let him go to the bathroom alone.  Today, friends, is supposed to be all about me.

But I can’t but feeling that it’s all about my kid.  Without him, I wouldn’t be…well, me, today.  I’d most likely be that old girl who, yes, was tons of fun, but wasn’t really happy with herself.  I wouldn’t ever know the joy of dancing around at noon, with someone who loves you NO MATTER WHAT, forever and always, regardless of how badly I might fuck him up.  Without him, I wouldn’t know so much about trains and cheese and poop, and there’s no bigger tragedy than that, really.  He’s taught me so much about myself and I cannot thank him enough.  He’s a cool dude.

Yesterday, The Bug (i.e. my mother) gave me my Mother’s Day gift.  It’s an awesome mid century modern credenza, exactly what I’ve been looking for since the day I was born (by the way, to my own mother, thanks for birthing me and all!).  Of course, he didn’t fund the purchase, what with him being too young to work (but when he hits seven man, it’s off to the saw mills), but he was very proud of himself for getting me something that made me happy and I was so stoked that even though he doesn’t get the meaning of today, he smiles too just because he saw me do it…

This morning a funny thing happened, something that all at once showed me how absolutely absurd and rewarding and often times hilarious it is to be a parent.  Jude woke later than I and I heard him stirring.  I figured it was only a matter of minutes before he came running in, full speed, requesting a wide array of the usual things he wants just after the sun has come up – band aids for his funny bone, pickles and lemonade for breakfast, or maybe a round trip ticket to the North Pole.  You know, normal toddler fare.  But instead he screamed to me in the other room, “Mommy!  MOM!  It’s gonna be okay, don’t be scared.”  I sat for a second, wondering what in the hell this little thing that I can’t believe is made from any part of me (not because we’re not alike, but because he is so much more spectacular than me) was going to say next.  More screaming from his room.  “Mom!  Don’t be scared of that monkey!”  Don’t ask, I don’t know.  Apparently, there’s a monkey living in some far off jungle that wishes to do me bodily harm…but The Bug wanted me to know that it would be alright.  I think he meant to say that regardless of what happens, that even if primitive creatures venture here all the way from a foreign rainforest to rip me apart limb by limb, that he’ll still love me.  At least that’s how I, still amazingly and happily in awe of the fact that I am one of those people who is thought about on this day of the year, chose to take it.  He probably just meant to tell me that Curious George is a nice guy or even that the guy in the yellow hat would make a nice daddy, but it’s Mother’s Day and shit man, I’ll take whatever I can get…

Motherhood is not easy, especially when one is going it alone.  I worry everyday that even though I’m one of the lucky ones who manages to live NEXT DOOR to the crackhouse instead of in it, who somehow puts food on the table every night despite my inability to cook (we eat a lot of spaghetti), and who doesn’t have to stick her kid in some hellhole of a daycare while I spend the day worrying about whether or not he’s shit himself and is being tended to properly, that I’m messing him up.  It can’t be easy, stuck in a house with me all day.  It’s certainly not easy being stuck in the house with him all day.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way, you know?  He’s mine and somehow he’s managed to pull off being absolutely perfect despite me.  Of course, I worry that he’s not getting enough Vitamin C, that I probably shouldn’t have let him eat that dirt for lunch (worms and all), or that I should have wiped his ass more throughly after his daily poop because he’ll probably get worms now, for sure.  I worry that he’s picked up my annoying habit of TALKING ALL THE TIME and that he’ll never make friends because most of the ones he has now are my age.  But honestly, I think he’s okay.  And if he’s not, it’s fine, I’ve already started putting money back for his therapy later in life.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you blessed with children out there.  Here’s to hoping that they shut up for 18 seconds today so you can throughly enjoy their presence in your life.  And if they won’t – The Bug never does, says his “mouth is full of words!” – duct tape it up.  It’s Mother’s Day for God’s sake, no one will fault you tomorrow.

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