Over the weekend Aiden and I saw someone that we haven't seen in about a year and a half. And after hanging with her for a bit, she looked at me, smiled, and said, "Now you look like a mother."
While I'm not entirely sure what she meant by that comment, judging by her peaceful, content, and assuring smile, I'm going to take it as a compliment. Hey, sometimes you have to pat yourself on the back, right?
You see, this time last year, I wasn't always sure of my approaches and myself as a mother. I mean, I knew that I had to take care of Aiden and handle all of the particulars and technicalities of his everyday life. But what else?
What if I had to make an on-the-spot decision concerning him?
What if I had to reprimand him in front of others? What would they think of me? What if he threw a tantrum? In public? What would I do? Would I just give him the candy to hush him up (which I've done), cover his mouth (which I've also done!), or brave the stares from his audience?
What about days when I felt totally and completely overwhelmed? Would I look sure of myself or like I didn't know what the heck I was doing?
Babies don't come with manuals, ya know?!
I can honestly admit that not only did I NOT know what the heck I was doing, I also did NOT know how to hide it either. I looked unsure. When Aiden was an infant, I did a pretty good job at faking my sureness and certainty. After all, all he did was just sit there. But when he became mobile, I was totally flabbergasted. And it showed. A lot.
But you live and you learn. And I've learned a lot about myself and my Aiden in this past year and a half. I finally feel sane again... almost as if I'm coming into my own. Almost. I finally feel like I'm swimming instead of sinking in this thing called motherhood.
And although everyday isn't perfect and I don't feel totally confident everyday, I was able to feel a little pride and joy in that single moment when a 30-something year old woman and mother said to me, "Now you look like a mother."