Whether we slip into the motherhood car with the grace of Mary Poppins, or stumble in a la I Love Lucy, we all board the train and embark on a journey to direct a life yet lived.
The endless tracks stretch beyond view, and whether we choose bottle or breast, cry-it-out or co-sleep, free range or attachment, public, private or homeschool, there is no choice that will make us prescient.
The endless ties ahead imply that someone came before us – indeed, billions have – and we can draw from their wisdom or folly as we pass, but this ride is ours alone.
Ominous? No. These tiny humans were purposely placed in our care. No combination like it has ever existed, or will again; a truth which is both terrifying and beautiful.
My two are eight and eleven, and I am learning that the train travels ever faster. One day, sooner than I can comprehend, my son will pull that red brake lever and I will disembark and watch with love and pride and anguish as he rides without me into his horizon.
Maybe you’re new and stumbling like I was (emergency C-section + colic = mushbrain). Maybe you’re approaching the tween stage and wondering what the heck happened. Maybe you’ve got it all figured out – maybe you don’t but you’re afraid to show it. Maybe you’ve already disembarked and your heart is both full and empty…
Wherever you are on your journey, I am there too. We all are. We’re riding this paradoxical train, alone and together, and it’s hard and it’s easy; it’s long and it’s short; it’s dirty and it’s so wonderful.
Despite the myriad choices we make, we are all mothers doing our best for our families – and this is the railroad tie that binds us.
Happy Mother’s Day.