Today, my son wrote his first song while eating farm-fresh eggs, organic blueberries and No-GMO rice-puff cereal from Hearthstone Health Foods, my local health food store. If I had to name the song it would be “Soccer-Ball Soup,” mostly because those are the only lyrics. The melody sounded a lot like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” so, while he may have some copyright-infringement issues to work out, he is clearly on the fast track to a Grammy. I attribute this morning’s musical musings to the breakfast that I made for him, of course.
Being a mother means taking a shred of credit for every good thing our kids do for their entire lives. We get to bask in the glow as they receive accolades for their adorable cheeks, followed by their extraordinarily polite “thank you” words, followed by kindergarten awards and, eventually, high school diplomas and college degrees. We, the women who wipe boogie-noses, tend to scary-high fevers, spend countless hours doing the “baby dance” and reading blogs about whole-food purees for infants. We the women who agonize over these wonderful little people — and will continue to do so until our final day — will forever be rewarded by their life-long successes. It’s a legacy worth working for, isn’t it?
It can be a difficult job being a mom, especially a crunchy-hearted one. I don’t think people realize how REAL we are, do they? I would love to just throw caution to the wind, bust open a bag of Cheetos and hand it to my 13-year-old step son when he asks for a snack. Wouldn’t that be easy? Wouldn’t that save me time? Then maybe I could get all this laundry done or rid my home of the five generations of dust bunnies that have accumulated under my entertainment center. But, alas, I can never do that. There is something in the back of my mind that nags at me when he asks for a snack after school. I think about his bones and his joints and his eyesight. I think about his immune system and his cardiovascular heath. I think about these things when he asks me for a snack and that’s why I do the crazy things I do. It’s not because I LOVE spending hours prepping veggies and fruit and researching the health benefits of hemp-seed hearts. It’s because I want what is absolutely best for my family, myself and my planet. I think about these things so my days are full of a little less ease and a little bit more prep work.
Even though all of this crunchy-mom stuff is a lot of work and even though we are sometimes tired and crabby and sexually deprived and … well … just generally deprived. Even though our jobs are far from 9-5 and we don’t always get holidays (I did dishes on Mother’s Day this year, can I get an amen?!) we are the ones who will get an, “I love you mom” on some far-off graduation day when these little tricycle motors are all grown up. They won’t know that the reason they have never had a broken bone, have gorgeous hair and skin and a rock-solid immune system is because we drove 30 miles round-trip to get them raw milk. They won’t know that the reason they never suffered from obesity or fought a terrible sugar addiction is because we purposely started them on homemade savory purees before fruits when they were only months old. They won’t know that we never used chemicals on their skin or that we diffused eucalyptus essential oils in the house to help them through allergy season.
But they WILL know that we love them more than life itself. They will know that because we are taking the time to prove it to them every day. And WE will know that all of our hard work has paid off when we see the fruits of our labor walking across that graduation stage and one day holding a little baby of their own.
Honestly, we really don’t have to wait that long. We already know it, don’t we? Whenever I see my baby boy run with his cute little legs across the lawn I know that everything I’m doing is worth it. It feels good to smell the lavender oils in his bathtub and cover his little chest with homemade lotion every night because I know that I am doing my best to ensure that MOST things going on or in him are benefiting him. Those are the building blocks of a legacy of wellness that he will enjoy for life. In return, I get to take a little bit of momma-credit for each of his accomplishments and shine a little brighter every time someone mentions how beautiful his sparkly blue eyes are. And you know what? That’s enough for me.