When I was young, I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be everything. I changed my mind often. I think I was in love with the idea of exploring every option. Some of my dreams were of being a vet, figure skater, “chefette”, cartographer, business owner, theatre director, teacher, musician, rabbi, now Yoga teacher.
So I became an explorer. How far could I go?
How many things could I experience?
What could I learn?
What could I create?
All through this time, there was one thing I did know.
I wanted to be a Mom.
This was the ultimate adventure that would complete me.
I realize now that this was a fairly irrational desire.
Being a parent has been more incredibly difficult than I ever could have imagined.
The hardest part, in my opinion, is managing expectations. And I when I say expectations, I mean of MYSELF.
Before we become parents, we have all sorts of expectations of how we imagine our parenting will look.
And then when we become parents, we learn the hard way, that parenting is the ultimate exercise in vulnerability, humility, disappointment and exhaustion. But, more importantly, it is also an exercise in pure joy, reckless abandon, creativity, hope – and love. I have learned that just when I think I have figured this parenting thing out, our sons change the rules.
In our case, becoming a parent was a choice, and I am so aware of what a privilege this was.
We created these living, breathing, wonderful people.
Each one was a conscious decision, each in his own time and space,
My purpose as a parent is to somehow, against all odds, with my partner in life, my soulmate, escort these four exhilarating balls of energy to a place where they feel confident enough to go out into the world and choose their own adventures. To find where they can release their creativity, figure out their unique contribution, and find the place where they can settle in and feel at home. All I can hope is that we have given them the foundation and skills to make it out there. Of course we will always be with them, in person or in spirit, to support them, but ultimately, our jobs as parents is to teach them how to leave us successfully.
And this is why in so many ways, parenting is an irrational, heartbreaking exercise. Pouring your heart and soul into these little people who will learn how to crush you with one phrase, but are also able to raise you up to heights you never thought were possible.
So I was right, this is the ultimate adventure that will complete me.
Each of our four boys has taught me many lessons, and I have grown with each one of them.
I love each and every one of them with a ferocity that I didn’t know I had in me before I became a parent.
I feel exceptionally lucky to be on this journey with Aubrey, who nurtures me, who balances me, and helps makes me a better person everyday. I don’t want to imagine what this would have been like without him.
Every day, I count my blessings, and the 5 beautiful people I live with are at the top of the list.
Never has this been more apparent, as it has been these past few weeks, as we have had more togetherness time than we could have ever anticipated. This Mother’s Day, I am more grateful than ever to be a mother.