Today was an historic day. Yeah, yeah, Obama was sworn in as our 44th president. But the bigger news in our house was that 3-year-old Bug had his first stomach bug. LadyBug had it last week and I had it yesterday, so it was hardly a surprise to wake up this morning to a pale little guy draped on the couch. Instead of “Good morning,” I got a pathetic, “I’m sick. I don’t feel well.”
My first thoughts, honestly, weren’t terribly motherly. After a day of misery yesterday, I was really looking forward to the kids heading off to day care, Big Guy going to work and a whole lot of quiet. Oh, and watching the inauguration in peace. Eventually, my mom-instincts kicked in and, after LadyBug was shuffled off to daycare, I settled in for a day of vomiting (lovely after a bowl of green Jello), “Wonder Pets,” and many, many verbal reminders that Bug wasn’t feeling well.
When Bug and Big Guy retired for naps just before noon, I did a little happy dance and turned on the inauguration to see what I missed. It was just in time to catch “Air and Simple Gifts.” And then, in the midst of blissful quiet, I missed my kids. I wanted to share the inauguration with them, even though they’re too young to understand. I knew Bug would enjoy the music and that, even though it was something small, it was a way to engage him in this special day.
I have friends who don’t have kids and don’t want kids. They don’t want to alter their lifestyles or spend the money. Maybe they don’t think they will be good parents. And perhaps they wouldn’t be. But I was reminded again today of just how motherhood can change you. I was reminded that for all of the times you’d like to be left alone or that you miss your old lifestyle, there is a benefit to becoming a parent that is impossible to explain those who haven’t experienced it. Everything becomes new again.
Every time I take the kids somewhere, it’s like visiting for the first time. Whether it’s the mall, the park, the zoo or the movies, they are awed by everything they see. Each book, toy, food and experience opens up a little bit more of the world for them. Even the supermarket holds a certain magic, when I have the patience to explore.
My kids don’t understand what happened today and they are fortunate enough that they will never really grasp the enormity of it. They will never know a world where a black man can’t be president. These are not the things that matter to them right now. What matters to Bug is that “Air and Simple Gifts” had a violin, cello, clarinet and piano, but no one was singing. We watched that clip later when he was up from his nap and I enjoyed it all that much more because of his delight and insight.
Score one for progress… and for motherhood.