Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Little Throw Up Goes A Long Way

The other night as Patrick and I were tucking the girls into bed, I sensed the familiar feeling of something warm and slimy all over my shirt and running down my arm. Kilian is quite the spitty baby and I just....laughed. It reminded me of an evening last month:

We were just about to leave for a formal event....dinner, champagne, lots of people dressed in suits and pretty gowns. We don't do formal very often, and honestly I feel sort of silly all dressed up. Embarrassed. I do love the look of pretty dresses, but I'm much more comfortable in jeans. So, I was kissing my girls farewell as we headed to the car and I took Kilian into my arms to get one last embrace. As I kissed his face and inhaled his sweet forehead one last time....well, you know what happened.

My floor-length black dress was now graced with a familiar white, slimy substance and my whole person smelled like stomach acid. Had I no children and this was perhaps a beverage running down my front I wonder how I would have reacted. With irritation, at minimum. But I am a mother. My "Oh no!" was followed by laughing and smiling, and I kissed my baby even more. Inside I exclaimed "thank you, thank you, thank you...". As we drove away all I could be was grateful. I never did get the stains off that night, but I wore them with great pride and gratitude all evening long.

One of the many, many small miracles of motherhood. To be able not only to accept the mishaps, frustrations and causes for anxiety, but to Love them and laugh at them - to see such occasions for what they are....real gifts and our way to heaven. I know, I'm taking a small, silly example and broadening it to mean something huge. But really, a mother's joy at throw-up isn't a small thing when you take into consideration all her other misfortunes - some quite large, embraced with love or mercy or even laughter on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis.

Sure, not every frustration is accepted with patience, much less joy. Of course not...I get that. But countless misfortunes dealt by our children are embraced lovingly. Motherhood changes a woman daily. It frees her from laziness and general self-absorbed ugliness. Some would consider the foul-smelling, white, dried spit up all over my dress that night an "ugly" aspect of motherhood. To me it was nothing short of beautiful.

10 comments:

ViolinMama said...

Thank you for this refreshing look at life's lessons, and challenging me to be better and more graceful! Blessings!!

Mrs. 2nd Lieutenant said...

lovely :)

i admit i had similiar thoughts (although no where near as well composed or articulate) a few months ago during my 2 year old son's first stomach flu... right after he threw up in my mouth.

this is what being a mom is all about - vomit in your mouth that isn't yours and loving his sweet little (pathetic and sick!) self all the more for it :)

Lucy said...

Smiling along - and nodding my head at Mrs 2nd Lt - the first time I bathed my son at his foster carer's house, he pooped in his bath, and in the flurry and my first time mama panic and his writhings around, I ended up with his poop in his mouth. As I always tell him, "and I still loved you just the same!"

Mary said...

This post is so great! :) Thanks for sharing!

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

What a great post! You have the best attitude. (And a gorgeous blog... it's like walking in a garden when I come here!)

Colleen said...

Ha! What a great attitude :)

Nikkadmus said...

That is so hilariously lovely and something only a true mommy could understand. It reminds me of when my first was 1 month old. I was visiting my parents and my sister (age 19 at the time) offered to watch her niece so I could take a shower. I was done showering and had wrapped my head in a towel and put on my robe when I heard a blood curdling scream come from the other end of the house. I knew only my sister was home and the she was supposedly holding my baby, so I freaked out. I ran through the house and found my sister holding my daughter at arms length, looking horrified. My little girl (whom I had fed just before I showered) had thrown up all over my sister. All my sister could manage to say was, "this tank top is dry clean only!". After that, I was certain she would never have children. She is older now, and a mom to three of her own, and one of her kids' favorite things is to hear about the time their mommy almost dropped their baby cousin to the ground to save her shirt.

I'm so proud of you for wearing the dress in spite of not being able to remove all the residue. What a fabulous mom!

Nikki

Mary said...

love is always the answer. thank you for this gracious reminder.

Mrs. Mike said...

Amen. Ain't it the truth!

Anonymous said...

I had a similar moment the other day. My 18 month old son had smeared spaghetti sauce and noodles ALL over his body, highchair, clothes, etc. When I came over to him, he looked at me with his big beautiful blue eyes and long eyelashes, and gave me this enormous grin. All I could do was smile back and laugh, and amuse myself as I put a naked baby in the bath covered in spaghetti noodles that he played with in the water.

How much fun is that?? :)