So what did I do tonight? I stood in the kitchen putting the flowers my husband brought home into a vase wondering who I could call. Someone who would understand that I just want a little confirmation with a side of reassurance. Some advice for tomorrow. Not coddling or sympathy. Not a chat. Here's where I feel insanely fortunate. So fortunate that I don't know if I started crying because I want to talk to my mom, or because I actually have to take the time to think through a list of women who I knew would answer the phone. I have so many people who are just waiting to be there to support me. I wish there was a way to let them all feel that they have helped me by simply existing, even if I never call.
I pulled the leaves from the flower stems and made fresh cuts. I walked a few circles around the house looking for a good spot for them. I sat down and wondered, aren't I enough? I have faith in myself. I am a good mother. I have common sense. I can be my own wife. I can be my own mother.
Except right now, I can't.
There isn't one person who can replace my mother or the place she had in my life. I didn't grow inside of anyone else's body. No one else can provide the very singular sense of comfort you feel when your mother puts her arms around you. No one else will ever know me the way that she knew me, longer than I have known myself and with more love than I have for myself.
My consolation prize is an entire collection of women. Young mothers, grandmothers, my aunts, my friends, my mother's friends. Each of them carries a piece of something I loved, admired, or needed in my mother. Mostly it's the love of someone who knows your flaws and loves you inspite of them. While it was so much more convenient to find all of that in one person, it is incredibly humbling to realize that I have a group of women standing by to care for me when I need it. A group of women who will happily attempt to tell me what to do about all of this vomiting.
Here is the beauty in soul bearing via typed blog: I started this entry thinking it would be about how much I missed my mom when I was dealing with sick kids. About how there are some things you just always want your mom for. That is all still true. But while my fingers skated across the keyboard the story evolved and sadness became gratitude right before my eyes.
Only your mother can be your mother, but maybe you have fifteen or so wonderful women in your life who will do what they can to fill you back up when you are on empty. And maybe one or more of them are the kind of people you know for sure would never shy away from offering solid, confidence filled advice on subjects like the possibility of excessive vomiting on the horizon. (Clear fluids, chicken and rice soup, more clear fluids)
More to come.