Monday, June 14, 2010

Becky's Bottom Line: Superheroes, Soldiers and Mothers

Becky's Bottom Line
By Becky Brownstein

Superheroes, Soldiers and Mothers

Someone asked me recently to tell them of an experience that made me believe in my prowess as a mom. My first thought was, “Huh? Prowess? What's a prowess?” Being that I watched the movie “Seven” with a dictionary when I was 15, I decided to rely once again on Webster.

Main Entry: prow·ess
Pronunciation: \ˈprau̇-əs also ˈprō-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English prouesse, from Anglo-French pruesse, prowesse, from prou
Date: 13th century
1 : distinguished bravery; especially : military valor and skill
2 : extraordinary ability

After I read this definition, I realized how prowess describes not only soldiers and super heroes, but mothers as well. Let me break it down.

Distinguished Bravery:
·        I wipe butts. Not just my own bottom, my kids' butts. Not only do I wipe my own kids' butts, but if one of my children has a play date, I wipe someone else's kid's butt as well.

·        I use public germ infested bathrooms. Not for myself of course, but when my kid has to go, they have to go. Of course, I don't just let them park it; I have to somehow sanitize the place so my kid won't come home with some rare disease that I made up in my head.

·        I take car trips. Sometimes these car trips are excruciating, but we will all have a good time, darn-it, even if I have to pull over  untill the fighting stops.

·        I clean up vomit. There is nothing braver than cleaning vomit. It's worse than cleaning up raw egg that slipped off the counter.

·        I cut toenails, wipe noses and everything that goes along with that.

·        I change HORRENDOUS diapers.

·        I wake up every hour to breast feed when I have a newborn. I give up sleep! I give up my own restful hours to take care of my children...and sometimes my husband.

Do you know why? Because I am a mother. It's not even like we take a vow before we have kids. We have a marriage contract of course, but there is no contract binding us to wipe butts, boogers and lose sleep. We do it because we have distinguished bravery. Our children need us. And by golly, we sure need them.

Extraordinary Ability:
I used to think I had extraordinary ability because I can do that weird double jointed finger thing. I also thought I was extraordinary because I could touch my toes without bending my knees. Fast forward to now.

·        Now I have extraordinary ability because I can function as a semi normal member of society with a mere 4 hours of sleep.

·        My house can look not so put together – okay let's be honest, a total disaster zone – all week, but miraculously be all clean and put together for Shabbos. Now that is ability.

·        I make dinner every night. Ability.

·        I pushed out a 10 pound 1 oz. baby (yes, every ounce counts). Extraordinary ability.

·        And on and on and on…

Bottom line is, I am not alone in this. There are so many mothers, who have so much bravery and ability. It’s not one specific experience that makes us acknowledge our prowess as a mom; just the fact that we are mothers and that we took that unsaid vow after carrying, nurturing and then pushing out our babies, gives us the defining term “prowess” as a freebee. It comes with the package. Like one of those toys in the cereal box that everyone sticks their dirty hands in, to fish out. Some mothers have PROWESS and some have prowess, but we all have it. It’s that simple. “Distinguished bravery” and “extraordinary ability” just come with the name “Mommy."
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Come back to LadyMama every week for Becky's hilarious and candid take on being a mother of five! Read more about Becky on the author page.

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