When I’ve spilled enough to make the water beige and the bubbles tipsy, I know it’s time to get out of the mystical oasis of dreams and quiet rainbows (da tub) and put away the wine glass. I slowly towel off; still mostly wet, because a hooded toddler towel doesn’t do shit. I ignore the mirror — it ignores me back. I kick my book out of the way; enough vampire porn for the evening. Turn off that Leon Bridges song. Consider lotion. Search for the lotion. Curse the lotion gods for not arriving on time. Leave the bathroom foggy — steam and booze will do that to a woman.
Find the lotion in the hallway. Between the clothes I don’t fold and a sandwich. Tuesday’s sandwich. TGIF, y’all.
2016 was a strange year for me. As a mom. As a human.
The kids are getting older. It’s getting harder. Some days, easier. ALL of it, much much louder. And I dance between insane happiness and utter confusion daily. Normally, landing right on shitshow.
International moves don’t help.
I’ve also noticed this smell that lingers on everything. The kind of sour you don’t trust, but kind of like. But you tell no one. Unless you are a blogger…
I have been a mom for almost 1200 days. Which comes out to approximately 238748787687628372423423 years. Give or take a decade.
The calendar keeps insisting that it’s only been three. But she hates me because I don’t check in regularly.
I’ve learned some things. I’ve seen some shit (mostly on the walls and white couches). I’ve exposed my breasts in various climates. Witnessed my child tumble down god-awful Dutch stairs. Grocery shopped with sunglasses to cover tears. Drank champagne on the London Eye with both my children (more than once — dat’s a lot of bubbles). Caught them hugging on at least two occasions. And I’ve been told “EVERYONE can hear your child, you know” halfway through an international flight — twice.
I’m doing alright. Better than alright. I still have my humor.
The hardest thing about being a mom is also being a grown up. Because that’s not something I excel at. I straight up (I’ve been told to stop saying that) don’t want to do grown up things. Like brushing my teeth. Sometimes, I just don’t feel like it. (Ugh. Ya nasty. — I know, I know). But THEY need to brush their lil dinosaur teeth. And a dear friend told me I am supposed to set a good example. And now we are all marching to the bathroom, heads low, pissed off at the world and the teeth tyrants in it.
I also don’t cook. But I have a mad desire to learn. Next week.
But I paint with them. We play games. I wipe their crusty noses. I tickle like a beast. And I am one hell of a snuggle expert, bo-bo kisser, and bedtime story connoisseur.
They think I’m awesome. I beg them to tell their friends. Goal = The Cool Mom.
But I am also that mom. The one that loses her shit and begs for forgiveness — found myself arguing with my toddler in public again. F’n skittles.
Lately, I’ve been learning how to “mom” in the United States. Something I don’t have much experience with. And most days, I am on a high because I feel so damn lucky to be closer to my family and Barnes and Noble and a dollar store for every mood.
I thought it would be easier. I can actually read the labels here and seldom have need for Google Translate (a dear, dear friend). But cars are terrifying. Kids in cars are terrifying. Other people in cars are terrifying.
I miss my bike.
But in America, they have grandparents. And other people that would fight strangers to protect my kids. So much love. So much help.
I’ve gone on like, 2387827 Target trips. A few even by myself.
And we are still in a transitional stage right now. Just moved to Houston. My husband and furniture have been there for almost a month now — time for me to bring the heathens and pastel paint and settle in.
It feels appropriate that 2016 should end this way. One gigantic adventure over. Another one begging to begin. And me, trying desperately to hold it all together while drinking my play-doh cappuccino and pretending I don’t know every word to this damn Sofia episode.
So. Many. Boxes. To. Unpack.
And let me be clear: I love my extraordinary/crazy life. I try to stay on that highlight reel as much as possible. Even on the gloomiest of days. And I know that every season has its blessings and struggles and some are easier to bear than others.
Some days, nobody is available for a chat or beer.
Other days, you are on top of the world. The kids get along, you complete a task, vacuum the stairs without tripping, and — if you are me — you write another chapter.
I don’t know what to expect in 2017. But I hope it’s the perfect shade of pink and doesn’t leave me hungover or broke.
I might even pretend to want to workout.