Wednesday, May 26, 2010


After a rather turbulent drive out of Cumberland on the goat trail they call Highway 123, Mike remarked to me that I had perhaps gotten even more neurotic than I was before about driving. And, well, about life. I sat there thinking.. Could he be right?? Have my neurotic tendencies hit an all time high in the last few months, or years? Then something struck me. Duh. Kids. Two of them.
Which means I am a mother.

Of two children.

Of course I am neurotic.

So I got to thinking.. Which trust me takes some honest to goodness brain power these days, and came to the conclusion that motherhood is one messy, scary, upsetting, terrifying, business. In all the best ways, I assure you.

Let’s take it from the top.

First you, as a pre-mother (who may or may not know it) will fall into one of two categories. You will either be stressed about getting pregnant, or will be staring at a solid blue positive sign stressing about just how you got pregnant. (Speaking as someone with experience in both categories, a Dairy Queen trip is almost always the best way to deal with the initial anxiety.)

So the deed is done, but alas, the worry is far from over. Miscarriage, birth defects, and fat bulging in the most unlikely places is next. Oh yes, we all want healthy babies, it’s true. But we also harbour some sort of asinine thought that we should also look like Heidi Klum at T- I day till blast off.

However, I digress. Anxiety only heightens as the big day approaches.. Complications at birth weigh heavily on a women’s mind. But let’s not leave out some of the biggest sources of anxiety for a mother-to-be.
Collateral damage upon arrival. Or, as I couldn’t help but humming.. The burning ring of fire. Yes, we worry about that… perhaps more than our sometimes ignorant husbands. (“Hey Doc, can you throw an extra stitch in.. ” Men never tire of that joke) But hidden deep behind the obvious anxiety, there are those which we do not dare speak until we lay eyes on our little precious.

Notoriously recognizable family genes we are terrified we will see on our little bundle of joy.

Oh don’t look at me in that tone of voice. We all think it. Thankfully, God made babies rather squishy looking at birth, so as not to worry us initially. He knew that after some solid attachment, Great Aunt Mary’s nose could actually become cute.

So there you are gazing at your beautiful, if not squishy newborn thinking all your petty little worries are over. HA!!

Three letters kept me up at night terrorized and not sleeping if I didn’t hear my children burp, fart, or hiccup every twenty minutes. Far from being anything to joke about, I know now why my mother says she didn’t sleep for months after I slept the night as an infant.

At six months, I took a mini sigh of relief, only to be hit with another realization. Mobility. Small items that can get lodged into their mouths. Blind cords. Electrical outlets. STAIRS. Dear lord how was I going to make it through. And just when I thought I could do it all again, I realized that with the second child I didn’t factor in an entire source of added anxiety. The older child. The older child who nonchalantly packs M & M’s in his toy combine to be scooped up by his 9 month old sister.

Then are they talking, walking, pooping, sharing, caring...

So, as I sat in the passenger seat of the truck as we skidded around on the soft, clay washboard, I thought to myself, damn it Brittany, you will either need a lifetime supply of Prozac, or you need to learn to live with a constant state of anxiety. So I am learning.. …

I am learning that heart palpitations, adrenaline, wine and a husband who doesn’t have an anxious bone in his body, are four things that as a mother you simply can’t live without.

And I haven’t even gotten to puberty, drugs, sex, drinking and driving, reckless stunt driving, driving with intoxicated friends, and a variety of other alcohol induced calamities.

Prozac is looking better and better.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Today was one of those days I will remember forever. Not because of any grand gestures, sparkly jewelry, lavish meals, or spa trips. I will remember today because of it's sheer and utter simplicity that is

I woke up, with the kids because like every other day (it seems!!) Mike is on nights. They slept in (which I swear was divine intervention from granny!!), and were remarkably well behaved (I am certain Mike had a pep-talk with Ben the night before). My lovely, but busy husband may have lacked the forsight to get me a gift, or a card, but stole Ben away with him this morning to the office, and came home with the most beautifully decorated card, in all four of the highlighter colors. It didn't matter, the message was the same whether they spent $3.75, or made it themseleves.. I am loved. We headed off to a Mother's Day brunch in the community, put on in part by the RCMP, and I left with a flower handed out by Lisa, and a few more that Ben had accidentally mangled while 'helping' Lisa.

I headed over for some much needed girl bonding/ sun worshipping with my girls.. I always marvel about how our discussions move from topics as light and fluffy as our mixed reactions to tanlines (ie. Cimarron likes them, Lisa and I despise them), to God; who he is, and what we thin the Bible says, to birth. Somehow, with Cimarron so near to becomming a mommy, we always end up back at birth. A sun-drenched walk, with the sun shimmering on the river, and the promise of leaves, glowing green on the trees, as a perfect back-drop for further debate on love, life, and what the best recipe for cake is!

I came home, puttered in the garden a little while Mike cooked supper, and we laughed, and gave Ben crap for bugging Belle, and in the back of my mind all I could think was.. you're going to miss this. Mostly because I know these days fly by before you have a chance to enjoy them, but also in part because the Trace Atkins song was on in the background! haha
You see, while I could have (and perhaps would have welcomed) a day where I was pampered, and spoiled, today was my average, normal everyday life... just celebrated. My favorite things were in abundance today- family, friends, and sunshine. I talked to my mom, Mike's mom, and my sister. I tilted my head skyward on my solitary walk home this afternoon, and let my Grandma know we're all ok, even if we are a little sad.

If you haven't noticed, I am a quote hoarder. I came across this one today and it seemed so perfect for the day I had:

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life." -Robert Louis Stevenson

Yes, the best things in life are nearest.. and right now it's Ben and Belle chasing eachother around the house giggling like crazy.