Thursday, April 14, 2011


**It's Red Wagon weather again, baby.**

You know what one of my favorite motherhood emotions is?

Feeling capable.

And I don't mean capable in the: 'my house is all put together and the kids are decorating seasonally appropriate cookies while a homemade meal simmers in the crockpot' kind of way. Cause that's not generally my M.O.

I mean capable in the:'life with kiddos can bring about some crazy scenarios and I feel capable when I handle them' sort of way.

**Drummer likes to turn everyday wagon rides into crazy scenarios by outsmarting the seatbelt.**

For example:

Last summer's trip to the Outer Banks was our first with two children in tow. Lil' Drummer was only 2 months old. We made a stop in Williamsburg on a particularly sweltering July day. The heat index topped out at 120 degrees. So, yeah. It was hot.

The kids' hair was sticking to their rosy faces and we were enjoying the Colonial atmosphere, albeit at a near boiling point. We had finally gotten the kids loaded up in their strollers and were halfway down DOG street in our quest for our favorite baked goods. That's when I realized that Tiny--a month from being fully potty trained--had a dirty diaper. And I didn't have a diaper on me.

What I wanted to do was walk as quickly as possible to the bakery, get a break from the heat, relax, and ignore the diaper. But I didn't really have a choice. I am a mama, and a diaper had to be changed.

So, sweltering heat or no sweltering heat, I turned Tiny around in her stroller and walked the half mile back to our car. Sweat dripped down my back and into my waistband. The back of our car was stuffed with suitcases, and I couldn't find the diapers. She whined while I sorted through bags and bags until I finally found them. There was no room on the cargo rack to change her, so I propped my squirmy toddler on the passenger seat, and with the door open, began the tricky job of swapping out a dirty diaper for a clean one.

Objectively, it was not a fun thing to do. But I remember so clearly what I was thinking at the exact moment that I stood in the hot sun, very aware of how uncomfortable the whole situation was:

I. am. capable.

**I am capable of calming tantrums. Some days.**

I thought that to my previous single self, this would've looked like the least possible enjoyable way to experience the 'burg: hot, sweaty, and wrangling a stinky toddler on her precarious perch.

But instead I felt like a mother bear: doing what needed to be done. And it was okay. It was humorous. All made bearable by my deep love for my daughter and my gratitude for the way my kids' presence pushes me to become more than I otherwise would. To do more than than I would choose to do.

So while I have many days where I don't feel so capable: where I'm still in my Pajamas at 10 am (and you better believe someone unexepctedly came to my door the last time that happened) and I am not keeping up with my long to-do list, there are many times where I feel a surge of pride in the fact that I am taking care of my babies.

It's not for doing anything particularly special. It's for the ordinary things: It's for rocking them when I'm tired and they're teething. It's for the clean-up of accidents and the patience with a tantrum. It's for the long waits in doctor's offices with squirmy, sick little ones. It's for the dirty diapers on the hot days.

It's just for doing what's required. For doing what motherhood requires.

Mamas are strong. Hear us roar our capable roar.

**You learn in Motherhood that, indeed, the show must go on.**


  1. great post! and loved the show must go on pic.

  2. Great observations. Lil Drummer has Houdini like abilities to escape from things like the wagon seat belt.

  3. Capable... That word has new meaning in my life today. The meaning of motherhood has soared to a whole new level.

    I am now capable of saying goodbye.

  4. Renae-- my heart broke for you when I read this. You are such a fabulous mother, and I hope baby L finds his way back to your home someday.


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