Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Knowing Nothing, Doing Anything

(I filled two wheelbarrows by myself--and my mother who did the least amount of work somehow looks like she's the only one working in this photo!?!--smart lady!)

In thinking about Ellie's recent declaration that if you're going to be a mom "you don't have to know anything" I keep thinking back to a comment I overheard at our school Field Day back in May.

A mother was giving instruction to a teacher/supervisor about needing to change a bandaid dressing later in the day.  In response to the mother's concerns, the teacher replied, "I am a mother, I can do anything."

How true that is!
Mother's really can do anything, even if according to Ellie they don't have to know anything.

Whether mothers can change a wound dressing or can carry every grocery bag into the house in one trip, whether mothers can function on very little sleep, or be masters at multi-tasking, Mother's really can do anything.

I remember being pregnant with my first child, and wondering if I really would be able to know how to give birth. Then when I must have resolved that worry, I moved onto whether or not I'd know when to feed her, how would I know she would be ready for solid foods, how would I learn how to potty train her, and so on and so forth.

(I have been a professional worrier all of my life, but didn't really know it until my parents came home from a parent/teacher conference when I was thirteen years old and told me the head-mistress claimed I 'worried too much.'  I still wonder HOW exactly the head-mistress (principal) knew me well enough to surmise that, but I've done my best to live up to the claim ever since.)

I digress. Back to my worrying when I was pregnant. I worried about it all.
And then, guess what?
I just figured it out. In fact I didn't really figure anything out, I just did it. Nobody told me, nobody showed me. Sure I read a few parenting magazines and books along the way and chatted with some friends. But for the most part, I just figured it out. Formula gave way to solid foods, diapers gave way to underwear, toddlers turned into preschoolers, grade-schoolers gradually turn into tweens.
I just do it.
"I'm a Mother, I can do anything."

Perhaps after all, Ellie is correct in her thinking. We don't have to know anything to be a mom--it just all comes naturally. Because really, what can't a mother do?

I remember clearly a morning when Megan was just shy of her first birthday. As I went into her crib to greet her, she was wearing (new) one-piece zip-up pajamas. Immediately, upon entering the room I knew something was ghastly wrong. The smell was atrocious and the color of her pajamas were NOT the color they had been when I put her to bed. Poo covered her from toe to neck. I was a (fairly) new mom, and the thought of poo in my bathtub must have seemed completely improbable. So I did what any smart, loving, mother would do. I took her outside to the lawn, undressed her, turned on the hose (in my defense, it was hooked to a hot/cold faucet), and hosed her down. While she ran around naked (but clean) I proceeded to hose wash the new-but-soiled pajamas until there was no trace of poo left on them. Both the pajamas and baby were then declared clean enough for the washing machine and bathtub (respectively).

(I'll digress just once more--oh how far I've come in almost thirteen years! I now know poo can go down a shower drain just fine AND if you use the extra rinse cycle on the washing machine it's okay if an article of clothing isn't pressure washed by the garden hose first.)

If it is true that 'The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world' it is no surprise that the mother at Field Day had the confidence to exclaim, "I'm a Mother, I can do anything."

And so Ellie, even if mothers don't have to know anything, they sure can do anything.
What a wonderful thing to be!


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