thread, not fabric

At around 8:30 last night, fresh off four straight episodes of Peaky Blinders, I became hurl-myself-from-a-rooftop sad that I hadn't spent more snowday time with Maggie.

"I'm a bad mom!" I sat on her bed and whined. "A good mom would have played cards with you...watched a movie...anything!"

"Mom. I woke up at one in the afternoon and this is all I wanted to do all day. Sit in my room and binge watch Criminal Minds..."
"We could have played Connect Four!"
"Knitted something!"
"Um, no."

Maggie has to live through this from time to time--and Will did in his time as well. The times when I become suddenly aware of all the things I am NOT as a mother. I don't create moments.
My friend, Bess, creates moments.
My friend, Bridget, creates moments.
My friend, Lynn, creates moments.
But, I don't. I just collect the ones that come to me--is that bad? Ugh, I'm verklempt.

"We could have painted pictures!" I said, pitching myself sideways across her feet.
"We don't have paint."
"UGH!" I scissored back up again. "A good mom would have paint!"
And she laughed.

And when this mood is upon me, I am half kidding and half genuinely-sort-of distraught. I am! I mean...have you ever had that moment? When you are like--CRAP! Time is SUCH a finite resource and ohmygosh! We won the time lottery today with each other and I hardly even paid any attention to any of that gift? Have you had that moment?

But also...I didn't want to do anything either. But SHOULD I have wanted to?! Ugh..mothering is not easy. And actively NOT-mothering (which is about all I did yesterday) carries its own b*tch-slap weight later on.

"MAGGIE! I am a terrible mother!"
"Mom! You are not.." She laughs from under her covers. And so. And so I went to bed.
Positively depressed.

While I was laying in bed, my mom sent me a picture of she and Bill at a Valentine's Day party.

"You know what this is a picture of?" I sent the picture from my phone upstairs to Maggie on her phone downstairs--a style of communication that happens often when we are both in our seperate rooms, although a good mom would communicate better.

"Nana and Papa?" She answered.
"No." I answered. "A good mom."

Today, when I got home from school I was eating my soup from Bread Co when Mags came upstairs and pulled a chair over next to mine.

"Can I have a drink of your Dr. Pepper?"
I passed it over. A non-descript cup with only a Panera label. It must say something about us that she knew it was Dr. Pepper, right? But a good mom would have bought her soup too.

While I ate, she proceeded to walk me through all the mental gymnastics of her prom dress decision. Heads dipped together, we looked at the pictures on the shopping app on her phone. We looked at shoes, jewelry, dresses. She asked my thoughts and I gave them. The color. The fit. The design. I finished my soup. She finished my Dr. Pepper.

When she stood up, she reached for one section of my ripped in half leftover sourdough.

"Can I have this?" She asked.
"Yeah," I scraped my chair back to get up. "Have both."

"Oooh!" She celebrated--the sound of deliciousness. "You are such a good mom."

"Well, then," I smiled at the memory. "Saved by half eaten sourdough."

And I come back to my always-thought, my day-after-thought. That motherhood, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

I can do a million things right, and she could grow up to not like me. I can do a million things wrong, and she could love me anyway. What matters in these little tiny moments--and that's what these moments are--tiny. What matters is that they are thread, not fabric. The thread of one mom-fail, the actions of one day, do not make up the fabric of my mothering career.

In the end, and in moments like these, it doesn't really matter if I think I'm a good mother, what matters is that she does.

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