Friday, April 15, 2005

Mom Unmasked

When I was single, my friends thought I was a very patient lady. Someone even wrote me a note saying exactly just that. “I can’t imagine you getting angry,” “You never complain,” “You have a quiet and gentle spirit,” they would say. I almost believed them—then I had children.

Motherhood brings out a side of you that you never thought you had. Some call it mean streak. Others call it dark side. I call it everything-ugly-in-me-I-have-thus-far-suppressed-or-denied.

Motherhood tests your patience to the limit, even way over it. It causes temporary insanity as surely as it brings permanent weight gain. It unmasks you, and usually it’s the part of you that sucks. Show me a regular Mom that has never yelled at her regular child at any point in time, and I promise to stop regularly watching Desperate Housewives.

I recall an incident when Gino and Mickey were about 7 and 6. Their squabbling turned into screaming. I tried to keep my cool for as long as I could, which was about one long minute. Finally, I hollered, “WILL YOU TWO STOP SCREAMIIINNNNG?!!!” Practice what you preach, you crazy woman, I heard a voice in my head. Today I hear it still.

To mothers with young kids, don’t fret. Time is on your side. Your kids are growing, and, hopefully, you are.

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