Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Some days since becoming a mother, I feel like a pioneer. I am blazing a trail no one has ever blazed. It's new to me, so it feels like it's a new experience, born the day I live it. Then I remember it's motherhood, and millions of me's have done it millions of times before me. It's the oldest story there is.
But, not the way I did it exactly, right? My genes, his genes, the color of the sky, the air temperature, the exact time of day, day of the week, time of year. Those all make it a unique experience, surely. Right? I like the idea of mommyhood being something I invented. Or the way I live it, at least. It makes it seem less generic, like I'm a maverick, to borrow from Sarah P (and pronounced in that way she does, much like a Minnesota accent). Even though I know so many experiences we have are so commonplace, it helps me to think of this as a big adventure that we all make up as we go along. It's so common, it's uncommon.
Introducing the tot to firsts has been a bit of a journey into the appreciation of something you've done a million times that is suddenly the most revolutionary thing you've ever done. Like ice cream. How many ice cream cones have I eaten in my life? Oh, an uncountable number. While pregnant, at least 3,493. Wrapping the napkin tightly around the bottom to avoid a mess, turning the cone easily with one hand to avoid drips, expertly biting into the cone when the ice cream top had been eaten. It's like riding a bike, so they say. I could do it with my eyes closed, and gladly would if it were Izzy's chocolate coffee ice cream.
Handing that big cone over to the wee Pumpkin this weekend -- his first ever -- I felt like Super Mom, Pioneer Mom, Every Mom. At once living out something that virtually every American mom has already done, and blazing out on a trail of my very own. The way I had to show him to grab the cone, and then put it to his mouth so he would realize it was not green beans but in fact delicious strawberry ice cream -- it was pure genious! Then, sitting in his small, red plastic chair on the patio, he smiled almost imperceptibly and began to swing his feet. Then, later how he wanted to try my cone, then daddy's. So individually him, yet like every kid on earth.
Ice cream may be an old story, tired out and told 100 times. But this weekend I lived the story of my firstborn and me and daddy, on the porch, eating an ice cream cone for the first time ever in the history of Wee Pumpkin's life. And boy did it feel deliciously, trail-blazingly good.