When I was younger and planning out my life…..
….I simply knew that my children would be perfect.
Kind of a cross between the Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family….
(I mean….seriously….Marcia, Marcia, Marcia)?
My children would be brilliant.
And play an instrument.
And speak seven languages and recite the entire preamble to the Constitution and win the spelling bee at school and know their multiplication tables before they could walk….
….and never, ever, ever fight with their siblings.🙂
And when my oldest son was born….
….I realized I was right.
He was perfect.
He had the biggest brown eyes and the cutest grin and blonde curly hair and 10 fingers and 10 toes and he pointed to them every day like he was trying to count them.
And one time….when he was a year old and I asked him what 2 + 2 was…..
….he responded with something that almost sounded like four.
Really, really, really close.
Total mathematic child prodigy.
And I would get him all dressed up in jeans and striped shirt with tiny shoes and a hat….
….and we would window shop at Target.
We didn’t have any money.
So I would just drive him around in a cart and get inspired and stare longingly at the housewares department and drive past the new bedding and the new lampshades…..and dream.
And he would dream right along with me.
He would smile all the time and watch passerbyers with a super intelligent stare and wave at everyone like he was king of the world.
And I would think to myself…..
….I am such an incredible mother.
I thought I should tell people I was available….
….in case anyone needed lessons. 🙂
And then one day his brother came along.
He was full of life and joy and entered the world like he was running a marathon…..
….and he never looked back.
And as he grew….I realized he was different.
He didn’t sit calmly anywhere.
He wiggled and somersaulted and tumbled and yelled and hollered his way through life.
It was all a little overwhelming.
And then…..there was that whole incredible mom thing…..that at this point
…..looked slightly in jeopardy.
One day I found myself in the aisles of Target again.
Pushing my second son proudly up and down the rows with a super cute outfit and shoes on.
He sat there attentively….grinning and smiling and waving at people like he was running the store.
My confidence returned.
I smiled and felt my “incredible mom” crown begin to slowly settle back in place.
Until I watched as he took the pieces of banana he was eating and smashed them in between his hands and then stared in fascination as the banana slowly oozed out from between his fingers.
He laughed uproariously at his cleverness….looked around to see if anyone else thought it was funny, too….
…..and proceeded to pat the entire gooey mess into his hair.
And as I reached for a wipe….
..…he wiped his banana encrusted hands onto the front of his shirt.
I almost started crying.
Pieces of smashed banana were everywhere….on his shoes….on his shirt….
….and dripping off the Target cart.
I lost my crown that day.
And I realized that being a mother is so much harder than playing one on television.
And perfection is totally overrated.
And every single child is different and wonderful in his or her own way.
And truly….that into every mother’s life….
….a little smashed banana must fall. 🙂