Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Opinion

May 10, 2013

Some of the lessons of motherhood

(Continued)

The time conundrum – whereby the years zip by speedy quick – logically brings us to our third lesson: Don’t sweat the small stuff. And fourth: Ninety-nine percent of it is small stuff.

I kept fastidious track of when my kids learned to walk. The earlier the better! Look at the little guy go! He’s got to be advanced for his age! My children now range from 11 to 21 and they all walk just fine. I’d be willing to bet a nickel no one could examine their gaits and determine who walked at nine months and who at 13. To tell the truth, I can’t remember myself.

A bad grade in math, making (or not making) the team, messing up at a piano recital, stumbling in the race, squabbles with friends – they all seem important in the moment. But in the big picture, they are but a blip. While I understand this concept, I find it difficult to implement because as mothers we may be able to get by with less sleep, but when it comes to emotions – ours multiply. Lesson five: Motherhood changes you in ways you’d never expect.

I remember the first time I cried because of a TV commercial. My daughter was a newborn and I didn’t know what hit me. In the midst of an actress promoting a product – ketchup, if I’m not mistaken – I felt a surge in my chest and tears running down my cheeks. You can only imagine how I react when one of my kids is bleeding or fails the test or is the last to be picked for the team.

They invented the term, “basket case” for a reason.

I know an enlightened mother sucks it up and ignores the small stuff. I also realize this is practically impossible in real life. Some day I hope to be an enlightened mother. For now, pass me the Kleenex.

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