old country house blog

I Stink

My 13 year old son just told me that I stink. Actually, what he said, was “Mom, I don’t want to get you mad or anything, but when is the last time you took a shower?” How does one respond to these things?
Once upon a time, I was a nice person. I was actually known as a “nice person”. I earned two Master’s Degrees and worked 50 hour weeks in the second field of my choice, Nursing. Theater was and always will be my first love. But I loved being a Nurse. I drove 4 hours round trip once a week to serve an under served population of women. Once upon a time,I was madly in love with my husband and  I wanted a baby so badly that to say the desire consumed me was a monstrous understatement of enormous proportions. I underwent 3 invasive surgeries to right to wrongs inflicted upon my internal anatomy during an operation I had long before I was ready to be a Mother. Once upon a time, I happily without looking back, left my career, and my beloved new York City and then her matron of honor, Boston, to settle down and raise a family in a good family town, a small town with mountains and cool hip people and high quality schools. I left it all and with the exception of the shopping, without looking back.
And here I sit, and apparently I stink! And I wonder if there is a punch line at  the end of this joke or if I am indeed the joke incarnate. I know that I am not the first parent to feel this way or be treated this way. I asked, even prayed for it for Gods sake! As long as their have been teenagers, there have been Moms like me, searching high and low for their sweet babies. I know, in some strange way my child is doing his job. But, there is just the feeling I have deep down that tells me that somehow, in some way, I am responsible for all of it. Where did I go wrong and all that jazz? At what point could I have prevented this? Or is everything, like they say, supposed to go this way.
When I was a nurse working in obstetrics, a job for which I often would have paid them,  I was helping a new Mom in postpartum. I was probably assisting with breast feeding or cleaning up a black meconium poop, one of my routine duties. It was change of shift, and a co-worker of mine, thick in the middle of her 5 children who were all teenagers at the time, burst in the room to obtain some vital signs. She observed the oohing and ahhing new parents, marveling at their perfect little sweet smelling miracle, and on her way out the door, took a pause and decided to shoot , “Enjoy it now! 14 years from now you are going to want to throw either yourself or him out the window!”  I now wonder, if on her way out the door to work, one of her little darlings told her that in fact she did indeed stink.
I know nothing…except this one thing and this I know from the bottom of my heart…I want to go back. Back to a place that where my biggest issue was sleep deprivation, not to be taken lightly, but far and away preferable to being called stinky, my God!. I want the insane “you got your hands full” life which included naps and hugs and big giant drewly  toothless smiles and  f’s that sound like s’s, where sishes are fimming and right is left and my messy is beautiful, perfect even and I say things  like “This is my Oscar!” “This is all I have ever wanted to do, or to be!This is enough for me!” The life where I missed my babies when they slept.

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