Thursday, May 7, 2009

5 Favorite Things About Being a Mom

There's nothing like being "tagged" to get people out of blogger hibernation. Jessica, or A Parent in Silver Spring, tagged me in her recent post, "5 Favoite Things About Being a Mom." Let me first tell you how I know Jessica. I first met the future parent in Silver Spring during my college days in Berkeley. We shared your typical undergraduate experiences that usually involved loud techno music and too many cups of really bad beer. I had not seen her in years, but thanks to the wonder that is Facebook, we re-connected about a year ago. To my surprise, I found that Jessica is now a mom with a widely read blog in the Washington D.C. area. She not only writes about her personal experience as a mother of two, but her blog is also a wonderful resource for parents who live in and around D.C. Jessica is still the funny and witty girl I remember, but now I can get to know her outside the context of a frat house party. To paraphrase her words, we both have traded our Wonder bras for nursing bras.

So, Jessica, I will take time out of grading student finals to accept your challenge to write my 5 things I love about being a mom. Here they are, in no particular order:

The hugs, the kisses, and all-around lovin': My kiddos are still at the stage where they can't get enough of loving on mommy. I can't tell you how much I love holding their tiny hands as we go for a walk or just lying down and reading a book. Their little kisses, no matter how drooly, are always welcomed on my cheek. And of course, hearing "I love you, Mommy" always puts me in a better mood. Having them express their love so freely makes me less inhibited with my own emotions for my husband, other family and friends. I know there will be time when hugs and kisses for mommy will have to be demaded, but I hope I will remember this wonderful stage in their life and learn from it.

Re-discovering and re-learning what I thought I knew: As someone who studied anthropology, learning about new things and going to new places has been a passion of mine. Now with my two little ones and having a more "grounded" life, I am discovering new things all the time, only I don't have to go halfway around the world to do it. Observing how my kids experience things for the first time is like I'm doing it for the first time all over again. Whether it be going camping, feeling the ocean at your feet, or learning how to read, you learn a lot when you experience these things with children.

Getting to see little personalities evolve: Sometimes it hard not to do it, but I know many parents who, while observing their newborn baby, will say things like "She's so stubborn. She must get it from my side of the family." Like their family has a monopoly on stubborness. For me, because my son is adopted, I don't have to explain everything away with genetics. I have the luxury of watching and learning about my son without having to relate every single characteristic to myself. Because of this experience with my son, I have learned to do this with my (biological) daughter. I look at her not as "mini me" but as a little individual person who has her own personality. Our children will become unique people and we get to watch it happen.

Becoming a family of four: Sometimes when the four of us are together, my daughter will say, "Look! We're a family!" And we are. We are a team that loves each other and works together. And being a part of this team is the most important relationship of my life.

Watching the kids with their father: My husband and I were married for four years before we had children. And we dated for four years before that. We have loved each other through many stages in our lives. Now we love each other as parents of our children. As I watch him with our kids, I still see the boy that I fell in love with, but he is now a man and most importantly, a father. I cannot be the mother that I want to be without his support.

Well, Jessica...I want to thank you for lighting a fire under my butt and getting me to blog again. After the semester is over, I think I'll return more regularly. But you can always find me on Facebook....