Yesterday Tessa turned 17 months. Each month, I try to write a little something about her and post some new pictures. But I find it difficult to write about this tiny woman, and I’ve been trying to think why. Because I want to write about her. I can write about Nekos, easily. I seem to have no problem, either, writing about a pretty dress or a dream I have or random crap I bought or made.
But how could I put together a sentence that would describe the sound Tessa makes when I growl and chase her around our coffee table or the way my body feels when she breathes the word “mama” into my neck? And how also could I use words to describe how irritated I am when she yells and screams and pulls so hard at my legs that she yanks my pajama pants around my ankles? Or how crummy it feels to know that there are already things I would have done differently with her and how scary to know how many things there will be in the future that I will also royally screw up? And, mostly, how can I express how very, terribly, insanely much I love her while also saying that sometimes being a mother is really, really, really hard?
I’ve found the joy of motherhood to be exquisite but also exquisitely interrupted by the sound of other mothers. Sometimes, in a room of “other mothers,” I feel like a child. And, mostly, I feel suffocated. I want to clap my hands over my ears so I won’t have to hear them say things like “I can’t remember/imagine my life without him/her/them” or any other number of things that rub something inside of me that is raw. Is it bad that I can remember my life before Tessa and that I liked it very much? But is it also bad that if this life were without Tessa I wouldn’t want to live it one day longer?
Most minutes I love being a mom. And I can't get over the way that motherhood has kicked open all kinds of new doors in my life and in my mind. I work from home now (which is something that I thank the heavens for every day), and I get to spend more time on things I love. Things like Tessa, yes, but also things like pretty dresses and dreams I have and random crap I bought or made. And I love the surprises that motherhood has brought--not only the sound that banana makes when it’s thrown against a wall--but that becoming a mom has made me know myself better, not less. And that it keeps presenting me with new opportunities, even in a room full of other mothers, to learn more.
My feelings about motherhood are so complicated. My feelings for Tessa, aged 17 months, are simple.
And, also, she started saying boobies this week, which I find delightful.