My response upon seeing everyone with pictures of their moms and kids was, oh, it's Mother's Day? I think I knew that? My own mother didn't (and still doesn't) care one iota about Mother's Day, so I wasn't well trained in this department. But my kids are into it, so I try to play along. I get that Mother's Day means a lot to lots of people, and I'm not trying to diminish that. Rather, I'm trying to convey my own humble perspective of what Mother's Day means to me, and what it brings to mind, which is this:
I seriously have no fucking idea what I'm doing here.
What do I mean by "here," you ask? By "here" I mean everywhere, all the time, in all things related to motherhood. Due to a combination of laziness, ineptitude, and general lack of ambition, I seriously have no fucking idea what I'm doing here.
I can't emphasize that enough.
Perfect example was yesterday, when I had to take sweet, innocent, 8 year-old Paige to something for her swim team. I'm intentionally calling it "something," because that's what it was, at least to me. My understanding and memory of this event is sort of like static radio, fading in and out in the home of a demented 90 year-old who sleeps in a pull-up, doesn't even bother with their dentures anymore, and still thinks JFK is president.
That's the level of disorientation I feel about parenting most of the time.
In this particular instance, I recalled some detailed emails, which I skimmed, and some canvassing around my office for donations. I vaguely remembered Geoff laying out our obligations for this activity. Since he's the primary caregiver to our children, I've adopted the more stereotypical dad role and tend to read work papers and bullshit around on my phone in solitary confinement while my children grow up around me. Not proud of it, but hey, we've all got our shit to work on, right? I think Geoff said, "DID YOU HEAR ME?" a few times, to be sure I heard him and knew what to do. He might have even made me repeat back to him the things I was supposed to know and do for this thing, which is the tactic he uses when it's especially important that I don't space him out.
Anyway, I arrived at the swimming pool for this "something," (I knew enough to know it involved swimming and by deductive reasoning had to be at the pool). I silently commended myself for having shown up at the right pool, given that there are two pools in Juneau. I was greeted by many parents who also have full-time jobs, more children than me, and yet manage to have a pretty fucking good idea of what they're doing and what's going on. They were even wearing T-shirts with the logo of this something on it. T-shirts!
So like the dementia patient I am, I just take my cues from these people who have their shit together, relying on their generosity, kindness, patience, and beneficence to keep me from fucking up my own kids too badly.
It takes a village.
Buoyed (so to speak) by the collective village, Paige and I got through the something at the pool just fine. She swam 75 laps, ate a bagel, got a gift certificate for pizza, and we went home. It was all good.
I know what you're thinking: Maybe if you spent less time in your own head, thinking and writing about yourself, you'd have more time for your children and you'd have at least some fucking idea of what you're doing and what's going on in their lives.
I know you're right, and I feel guilty about that. Truly I do. For reals. But at least for now, I have only five words and one picture in response:
I woke up like this.