Tuesday, January 1st, 2013...4:13 pm
Are You Ready?
When my belly grew round with each pregnancy, when even strangers could tell from my waddle that it was almost time, people asked, “Are you ready?” With Nora I think I always replied no. I wasn’t ready. She was early. I was scared. I wasn’t done with being pregnant. I had no idea what awaited me on the other side. With Miles I think I said yes. I was further along, I was uncomfortable. I was ready to move into the next phase of mothering.
No one asks me if I’m ready any more.
Are you ready for Nora to turn five?
Are you ready for Miles to start spitting out words like they are his to own?
Are you ready to start visiting kindergartens?
Are you ready to cut off Miles’ baby curls?
No one asks me, but I ask myself. And most times, the answer is no. I am, most times, not ready for one phase to end and another to begin. Just when I begin to wear one phase of motherhood comfortably, it all seems to change. Newborns become infants. Infants become babies. Babies become toddlers. Toddlers become preschoolers. And then you look at the calendar and it is two days until your first baby turns FIVE.
I’m never ready, I suppose, but life has a way of reminding me that life is always just as good on the other side of change.
This weekend, I cut off Miles’ baby curls, trimmed up his baby mullet.
He sat in his haircut taxi, smiling as usual, and I was the one with tears in my eyes as the scissors snipped and his hard-earned locks fell onto the tile. He turned his pretend steering wheel, stared at himself in the mirror and I stared at him. I stared and I wondered what he’d look like, my little boy, without his beloved baby mullet.
Later we sat together in the living room. I marveled aloud at how cute Miles looked with his new haircut.
Nora looked up, matter of fact, from her coloring. “Mom, you’re so silly. You didn’t want to cut his hair and now you think he’s even cuter?” She sounded almost exasperated by the irony of it all.
That seems to be a truth of motherhood for me. Ask myself if I’m ready. Convince myself I’m not. Mourn the end of one phase only to jump headfirst with love into the next.