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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

Mammoth Mothering...

My daughter turned 17 last Tuesday.  And she is an amazing kid and someone I admire.  So for her birthday, I rented a place in Mammoth and brought she and a couple of her friends up to spend the weekend snowboarding and being teenagers.  It was the first time she drove up with friends and not with me.  While I enjoyed the time for just me and my guy, it was a trip thinking that five teens were making the six hour drive alone.  We weren’t caravanning.  We weren’t in the same car.  And so another vestibule of childhood vanishes...

They made it all intact and fine.  Everyone got to bed and enjoyed a nice evening.  They are all good kids.  Funny, smart and seemingly content with their very nice life.  Which is refreshing, because it really does seem that all of them, really do understand how very good they have it.

My boyfriend’s daughter and her significant other also joined us this morning.  They are in their early 20s so a little different but still young and spirited.  It is nice being around young people.  Even though it completely destroys the illusion of my own youth.

Today, they are all on the slopes, defying death and gravity.  I am at the Airbnb, doing, well this.  Me and the dog are chilling in the unfilled living room, enjoying the view, the peace, the quiet and the joy from all the thoughts of last night and this morning.

I haven’t been the best mother.  I am not the one who makes dinner every night, or even breakfast on the weekends.  I am a more “I will buy it all and you can fend for yourself” kind of mother.  I didn’t used to be this way, but getting divorced and reclaiming a part of myself and my life required that I had to let some mothering things go...and so cooking was one of them.  Which every time Grace comes home with tales of home cooked meals from other kids’ homes, I feel such immense guilt and shame and remorse.  Mind you none of it is enough that I would alter course back to my previous status as a short order cook...but I do feel like shit about it.

So this morning I rose early and got up and made crepes for everyone.  And I felt like a good mom.  I planned this trip and I am endeavoring to be of service.  To show up for the people I love and give them what they want and need and deserve.  Truth be told, I like hanging with my teens.  They have turned into supremely cool people and mentally I think I am more on par with them than not.  I just do a much better job of keeping track of my shit...

I feel immensely grateful to be able to afford to do this.  To treat the kids and myself and my guy to this weekend away.  In this lovely ski in/ski out condo on the side of Mammoth.  Today, mothering feels fun, light and easy.  But fuck do I remember that I didn’t always feel this way.  Mothering used to be so fucking hard.  Like every single day.  From the moment my eyes opened until they closed for however brief a period of time...mothering was a hard ask for me so this feels especially lovely to me.  This time with her and her friends and him and his daughter and her friend.  This time where I can sit in the sun, typing out my heart and feel it beating within the confines of my chest, neat and tidy and easy and unhurried.  Because I remember when any mothering task was long, arduous and exasperating...and so very unfun.

I can see today absolutely the mammoth of my mothering.  The very high highs and the very low lows.  To the apex and to the soul crushing bottom, in a few minutes, not really even an hour.  So today, I feel immense gratitude to be somewhere in the middle of all this mammoth mothering I have done.  I mean, endured, no I mean completed. No, I mean survived.  And to be sitting here today, enjoying all of it.  The past, the present and the future.  I am grateful for the life I have and how rich and wonderful motherhood has made it for me.  I am grateful to have had the fortitude to weather all the very many trying times to be gifted moments like this where I am here, present, available and happy to be on the side of this mountain, with her, and all of them, with vistas of the pinnacles and views of the valley floor.  I know of both and today find immense gratitude for just being in the middle...present, and here, for this other iteration of this very long passage called motherhood.



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