I realized something today while taking Arthur out to the park.
Seeing as it was the nicest weather we’ve had yet the park was full of happy kids and parents. I disentangled Arthur from the Ergo and set him on the ground. Immediately I had a mini conversation with a mother about how cute my son’s jacket is. Another young mom came over to coo over Arthur and her little girl gave him a pat on the head.
I took Arthur over to the swings and tried to get him in – a kind mom came over and helped me fit his legs through the hole. She made a joke about “wait till he’s older and his boots get stuck” and it hit me.
I’m one of THEM. A mom. An ADULT.
I think my inside teenager laughed and screamed at the same time.
I mean, I know I’m a mother. I routinely touch the scar across my belly to remind myself of the beginning to this tale. My most stimulating conversation recently involved the different consistencies of baby poop and I know all the words to “Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes” by heart.
But I didn’t realize until today that I’m a mom.
That instead of being an awkward teenager enjoying the cuteness of any given child, I understand the amount of time and effort the parents put into letting this young life shine.
Instead of being a know it all twenty something judging the mom with the screaming kids in the mall, I’m sending her looks of understanding and empathy.
Instead of sitting on the park bleachers a jaded thirty year old having a cigarette and watching the mothers in the park, I’m pushing my own kid in the swing and haven’t smoked since before he was born.
I’m the mother in the park with her child. I’m the lady on the bus with a stroller. I’m the woman taking up the special parking for mothers with young children. I’ve got a family and life has changed.
I’m navigating some new social waters by chatting with other mothers. I don’t know what topics are taboo, what compliments to their children will be taken the wrong way, how much of my nerdy inner self can I reveal before they run away in horror. I’m in unfamiliar territory here. Thank goodness there are some other mothers out there willing to throw me a life jacket.