For as much as we change, we remain the same. While most 30-something working parents would agree that life looks nothing as it did during our college days—and we have the bills to prove it—I’ve noticed that, as different as I am, even from a few years ago, my life, remarkably, remains awfully similar to Joseph, my nineteen-month-old son. How so, you ask? What, is this my first time feeling the rain, eating Thai food, or spotting a bunny? Is that it? Sheltered girl, am I? Not exactly.I suppose, as a mother, I should be aiming to mirror Mary’s example: the perfect mother of the perfect Son, and yet, the way my life keeps changing and evolving and transforming, I’m more likely to be compared to Madonna the Material Girl, than Madonna, the, well you get the idea. Every year, it seems I have a new look and new outlook. It’s about evolution; mine is a mirror of my son’s. Just as Joseph becomes, month after month, more aware of himself as an individual, he also refines and develops his likes and dislikes, he tests his boundaries, and his sense of adventure grows with his increasing confidence. While I led a pretty adventuresome life myself a decade ago, you’d think that, languishing in suburbia with a toddler and pregnant with a second, my boundaries, likes, dislikes and willingness for adventure would perhaps be dusty, with more than a few cobwebs. Not so. Becoming a mother has been the catalyst for my own rebirth. In many ways, I too am only nineteen months old (unfortunately without the newborn skin) and life has become more fascinating and promising, the world seems more exciting, I feel energized to venture out and test new boundaries of my own.When we began visiting Montessori toddler programs for Joseph, I watched him stride boldly to some low bookshelves displaying puzzles, math games and blocks. He helped himself to some colorful educational toys and to be honest, I couldn’t help but share his enthusiasm. There’s a good chance I’ll be around another 50 or so years—plenty of time to dive into some classes of my own. Seeing his excitement about the classroom, students and learning materials reminded me how much I used to enjoy being in college, learning new skills and meeting new people. I hope that, throughout our lives, he and I can encourage the joy of learning in each other. As I transition out of my current magazine-editing gig and back to freelance-writer-working-from-home, I’m ripe for my next transformation. And, as I evolve, if I’m to survive among the fittest, I’ll need to discover how to translate my dreams into concrete steps I can faithfully take while growing and maturing. Seeing the beauty of small things through my son’s young eyes has inspired in me a curiosity about the world that getting older had diminished. I’m anxious to travel, true, but I’m also anxious to make a lasting “statement,” to re-organize and redefine my goals and ambitions to fit my new vision for something, oh I don’t know, grander. The truth is, thankfully, that change is inevitable, ongoing without ending. The journey, of course, is sweeter than the destination—and moreso by the company we keep along the way.
The Evolution of Mommy June 29, 2007