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Issue 1207 April 10, 2011
(Prior Story)   Columns ArTicle 6987   (Next Story)

Thinking Out Loud
Because I'm Your Mom-That's Why

May 13, 2012       Leave a Comment
By: Diane Szczepanski

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"Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that suppose to mean? In my heart it don't mean a thing."
Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987

To date and as I've experienced it, some of my obligations as a mother have been to:

Carry another human being for 9 months inside a body that I watched go from relatively fit to 'Captain she's going to blow, there's nothing in this universe that's going to hold it!".

All the while succumbing to cravings for Popsicles in winter and observing my feet grow to a rather impressive 'Sasquatch' size.

Walk the floors for hours during the middle of the night with a sick baby.

All the while worrying that the runny nose and throaty cough must mean something more ominous than just the common cold. Even though it wasn't.

Drive aimlessly in the car late at night with a fussy baby to induce sleep.

All the while, worrying I would inadvertently commit a traffic violation and the police officer would catch me in ripped flannel pajama pants, slippers and sporting dark circles under my eyes that resembled Rocky Raccoon.

Send a kindergärtner to his first day of school with a face that had visited the pavement in an unfortunate biking accident, just the evening before.

All the while worrying the snack I had packed for him would not be soft enough for him to eat, because of the two front teeth he had knocked loose in the fall.

Cheer him on in several years of school Christmas pageants, cringe in fear during his extreme skateboarding era and explain to him as nonchalantly and matter-of-factly as I could, about the birds and bees.

All the while never letting him see my regret at the sad, but inevitable moment, when he went from holding my hand when we walked together, to walking at least 8 feet ahead or behind me.

Drop him off to driver's training class and watch his now 6' frame walk into school to learn how to maneuver a ton of deathly steel on the road. Knowing he'll be motoring alongside of crazy people talking on cell phones, texting, putting mascara on and tuning radio dials.

All the while praying to the Man up above to keep watch over him when I can't.

I currently have 16 years of motherhood behind me. One thing can be said with certainty, I'm no pro at this job.

I've made my share of mistakes.

The countless times I was overprotective when I needn't have worried and the instances I have been lackadaisical when more diligence would've been prudent.

A wise childhood friend of mine, Sherry, encouraged me while I was expecting. She already had children of her own and said "Motherhood is like the Peace Corps, it's the toughest job you'll ever love".

She was 100% correct.

I look forward to the challenges still ahead and to navigating precarious, parental mine fields, as I continue my employment in the 'Mom Corps.'

When the bugle is sounded in a Guard Mounting call, I'll be always be there. Mothers stand ever vigilant, no matter the age of our children.

It's what we do.

A very Happy Mother's Day to ALL the Mom's out there in the child-rearing battlefield.

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Diane Szczepanski

Business-woman by day, confessed boot addict by night and 'wanna-be' writer, music lover and proud Mom of an awesome guitar playing, teen son.

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