I think that I probably understand them better than ever before, though. Lately, my brain function has either improved or returned to pre-pregnancy levels along with the loss of memory of what pre-pregnancy levels were (pre-pregnancy=age 35). Actually, I’m certain that my brain is even better than it was before, with that mommy “eyes behind the head” intuition on board (trade secret, it’s not intuition so much as reasoning), and the new ability to manage multiple inputs at once. Example: At a birthday party at the park, I was able to keep my own child in the far distance and notice between me and my child, (who was yelling, “Mom, look at me!”) I could see a young-un I wasn’t acquainted with sheepishly playing on the hopscotch game that was set up for the party. Looking at this child, I said “it’s okay, you can play hopscotch there” without losing focus on my daughter. It feels like a small superpower, actually, one that others have had for a much longer time. I might now be ready to consider becoming an Elementary School Teacher, if the mere thought of it didn’t sound exhausting. I teach religious school at my local synagogue (there are now three in my town, but this is the biggest and most liberal) and that scratches that itch sufficiently for me.
I’ve always liked kids, and vice versa, but now I really like kids. I now probably fit in that category of the non-creepy people who love kids and vice versa. It’s like my lap is a kid magnet. I love the age my daughter is at, five, and her five-year-old friends are fun, too. I knew I would turn a corner at some point where parenting went from being equal parts joy and pain (with a giant share of guilt) to where it is now, much more joy, a bit of pain, and much less guilt. This age is the one I’ve really shone as a mom — my sense of humor, focus, connectedness, brightness, ability to rhyme, catalogue of silly songs are all coming in handy. And I have this overall feeling of loving kindness that seeps out of me right now, and I’m not even in love. Well, I am, but it’s not with a guy. I’m feeling an increasing self-love and that is shining out in all directions.
What’s confusing is that I’m also in the midst of a separation that is about 95% likely to result in a divorce. It’s hard, and in some ways messy, but in other ways confusingly agreeable. When asked if it was tense, I replied, not really, more it’s just very sad. And it is. We are all still sort of together and sort of not. It’s complicated and uncertain and unsolid. But it’s livable, and not in the “slowly boiling water” sort of way. It’s more just real. It isn’t storybook or textbook.
Life is just rather messy. Confusing. Uncertain. And yet, it is, thankfully, still going on. The love my daughter and I exchange through words and hugs and kisses and gestures is so sweet. And the way that love doesn’t end up being confined to us, but spreads out to the others in our lives is also sweet.
I’m not sure a less confusing life would be a better one.