Nothing really prepared me for motherhood. I don't even think motherhood prepared me for motherhood. I mean, I had a baby, my heart practically exploded sending love confetti all over the place. I changed diapers and fed the kid and wiped up spit up and walked through foggy exhaustion. Then he went to kindergarten and it was like, "Wait! Hold the phone! I have to make sure this kid gets his homework done? But I already went to kindergarten!"
I find myself sitting at the table. He's holding scissors in his hand because somehow the fetus that used to be inside me knows how to cut now. We're supposed to be working on his letter of the week, which is D, in case you care. But he's still sitting quiet because he's upset about his report card.
His report card was incredible, by the way. He's at or above the bench mark in every subject. He's reading above grade level. His teacher said that he is excellent at addition and subtraction. He got all E's.
And one S.
And it's that one S that's opened a flood gate of tears. He likes talking, he tells me. He isn't talking out of turn, he says. But I know better because I volunteer and I know his voice. So I say that he just needs to work on it. And I tell him how proud of him I am for the rest of the report card. I say that his teacher must be proud of him too because she gave him such high marks. Certainly it's alright for her to ask him to work on one little thing.
He starts to cry again. "Nate's the smartest kid in class."
"How do you know?" I ask.
"Because she always tells him good job. Awesome. You're so smart. And she never tells me." I think this isn't true because I heard her on Tuesday telling Garrett how smart he was at his sight words. Still, I tell him that he can talk to her about it because I'm trying to teach my children how to have rational conversations with people. Another thing I didn't realize I had to teach when I thought about tiny, squirmy babies and how good they'd smell covered in lotion.
We finally saved up enough to start thinking about maybe buying that coveted new to us but certainly not new to the road minivan. Because my taste in vehicles has apparently changed as well. Because motherhood makes you do weird things, like stare longingly at all the vans as they pull out of the school parking lot. What can I say, the heart wants what the heart wants. We've been researching vans, reading about them, thinking about them.
Then Matthew had an appointment with an ENT today. Because that kid snores up a storm and sleeping anywhere near him is a bit of a wretched nightmare. The recommendation: tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Right quick. We scheduled the surgery for next Tuesday and after getting off the phone with our insurance company the prognosis is, "Keep dreaming about that minivan." Maybe we can dismantle Matthew's adenoid tissue and sell it for parts.
Now I'm going to spend the next week worrying about surgery because I once heard a surgeon speak about how a tonsillectomy is one of the easiest surgeries of ever. Except for one little thing. They're slicing about two millimeters away from some vital body part that, when cut, instantly kills. Maybe I'm exaggerating. I don't know. That's how I remember it.
I didn't think about trading my minivan dream for a tonsillectomy.
Because I never realized there would be a minivan dream.
And I certainly never thought there'd be a tonsillectomy. On account of the fact that I never really thought about much beyond those snuggly infant moments. Motherhood. A lifetime of uncharted territory.