THE 40 YEAR OLD MAMA
I like to think of seeing my life like I see great cinema. Frame by frame, moment to moment. And sometimes I like to just stop the tape right in the middle of it all, and observe it in black and white. And sometimes when you stop in the middle of a moment, and you observe, you capture the very reasons of why we are here. In black and white, plain and simple, to love and to exist in love.
I don’t know if you’re 40. Or if you’re anything like me. And I don’t know if you feel things the way I do. But if you are, cool. I’m not alone. Because whether you're potty training twin toddlers this week or you're sending off your daughter to high school, it might feel a little like this. Like tonight, watching your babies almost destroy your new bathroom shades and screaming at the top of your lungs to put the sprayer down, only to watch sissy grab their attention by gulping and spitting bath water up in the air like a boss and turning a shit hole of a moment to an absolute majestic memory. Yes. That happened.
If you’ve witnessed this and allowed yourself to be, (like fully and acutely be), then we’re in the same boat. I like to call this the 40’s mama. Maybe I call it that because that’s me, but maybe I call it that because as I entered the 40’s, I was in 3 kids deep and I wanted to feel it all. I wanted to experience the reel, in real time.
If you’ve followed along my journey of the motherhood path, you know I’m uncanny at not sugarcoating the daily trajectory of a mother’s work. It’s true, I let you know. It all. However, the discovery of realizing tonight what I realized, amongst the very moment one of my toddler sons peed in my clean beautiful master bath, was surreal and almost an out of body experience.
40 is funny. It’s beautiful and lovely and badass in every aspect really (if I’m honest), but being a mother and 40, there’s a certain tenderness that comes along with the observation of life, as it is. I know, I’m a writer and as prolific as I may want this to sound, it’s really just as simple as this.
I caught my 40-something mama self capturing a moment in time tonight. Instead of worrying about my new perfect automatic shade on my perfect white window, or the soaking of my shiplap wall, I lost all my anxiety for a perfect minute to ingest the very beauty of watching brothers love their sister and a sister love her brothers.
I gasped. I was so awestruck by the story of what their life is and what it will become. Because when you’re 40, you don’t have time to wonder if it’s a moment. When you’re 40, you know it’s a moment and it’s passing you by. And by God the only thing more important than witnessing the beauty of love in the room in a moment, is nothing.
I am a witness to their lives and I’m watching it in black and white like I’ve never seen before.
Mothering at 40 does that to you.
It smothers you and wakes you up. Makes you aware of today. Of that 30 seconds where your 3 babies realized they have each other. Each other. Like, if you really think about it, the world we live in today and the ways in which we are forced to gulp our realities, it’s calming to know that although they are only 3 and 7, they have each other. And that’s pretty powerful stuff.
Mothering in your 40’s has it’s advantages and it’s disadvantages. But instead of evaluating that, I care to lean in to today. And that’s the 40 something me. Available and willing to observe and accept motherhood as it may be. And whether it may be the greatest of the greats in a moment of cinematic worthy showmanship, or the most insignificant or heart wrenching debilitating motherhood moments, it matters to me. It matters to us.
Because the 40 year old mother is awake. And she’s thirsty. She wants to drink it all up frame by frame, word by word, snuggle by snuggle. Because in a millisecond, everything changes. And to be honest, I don’t think we wanna miss a beat.
And I think that’s ok. In fact, I think it’s awesome.