Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Waiting for Birdy: Favorite Lines

Last weekend we took a much needed road trip to Minnesota to see family and friends. With the car packed up the night before, we left on time, but not fully caffeinated. Ingrid was out cold until her seat belt straps tightened. She then opened her eyes and proclaimed "We're going to Minnesota! I so excited!" 

The car ride was unlike any I'd ever experienced with her. By that, I mean it was pleasant. Ingrid read, colored, requested movies and snacks. We've entered another stage of parenthood. A stage? No. She's growing up.

Although the car ride was nice, I found myself wishing for more. Daydreaming about the day when she'll let us know she needs to use the bathroom. It takes a present mind to remember this parenting classic: don't wish it away. 

It's an easy thing to do, really. To wish away the teething pains, the tummy time grunts, the constant feeding, swaddling, diaper bag packing, bottle washing and toy wrangling. To pine over the next stage of development. To wish for a start and an end.

After dreaming of what's to come, I remembered one of my favorite reads this year, Waiting for Birdy by Catherine Newman. 

I reread the highlighted sections and felt inspired to share a few. The book is about the author's family awaiting their second child. Although I'm content with one, I nodded along while reading. Now, I'm not a fan of articles, books, quotes or eCards that paint motherhood to be this magical, secret society where kids are insane, amazing and no one has time to shower. I preface this because some of my favorite lines are flowery and moving. Balance these sentiments with honesty and that's why I loved every page:

"There is the love that balloons so enormous and breathtaking that it lifts you up, past sleep, into some other kind of place, where joy is immeasurable, and fear is everywhere. Where "bittersweet" is always the flavor of the day."

"Speaking in earnest proverbs is new to me since becoming a parent. But now, every day, some or other cliche pops into my head as if it were an original thought." 

"But when I looked into that serene little face, the world stopped and started, and I became, in an instant and forever, a mother." 

"Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others with their masks." 

"There is no way to understand the joyful desperation of parenthood until it is already upon you, like a flash flood." 

"Sometimes, when I go to put the kids to bed, I breathe a sigh of relief after they fall asleep, like 'Thank God that's over with!'...'Don't wish your life away', my mom used to say when we were impatient as kids. I'm sincerely trying not to.

That oxygen mask line has proven to be my motherhood mantra.

This book armed me with more tips than some of the "recommended" reads for moms with toddlers. 
What books - not necessarily on the topic of motherhood - have stuck with you? 

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