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Mother Nature is Always Right


The Ups, Downs and Sideways of Working Motherhood

Mother Nature is Always Right

Alex Steinman

Matt is out-of-town today and tomorrow, so things are more hectic than usual. I want to get in the office early this morning. Realistically, I want to get in the office sometime this morning. In an effort to look semi-presentable, I take the fastest shower of my life. #Gingerbaby didn't bathe last night, so I drag him in there with me. I'm sure he'll need therapy for that.

The kid eats like an Olympic athlete, so the second we dry off, he gives me the sign for "more." He points into his hand as if to say, "you will pay me in blueberries, and you will do it now." We didn't teach him sign language, so I assume he's a self-taught genius. I throw him in the high-chair with 10 minutes of food to occupy him.

Eyeliner on both eyes. Mascara on one and a half. Pants. Beyoncé t-shirt. Good enough. 

I chase Coop trying to get a jacket on him. Where do you think we live? Florida? It's winter, my child. Do I have everything? Probably not, but there's coffee and pens at work, so I'm fine.

We speed out of the neighborhood and approach the lake, as I put on some lipstick in the rear view mirror. Lipstick makes me look alive and will distract from the Aquaphor grease stains on my shirt.

The lake is still, sun rising on the shore. Light fog rolls across the glass water, while ducks glide undisturbed by the chilly air. Mother nature is mocking me. She looks like one of those perfect parents at the mall with matching children and fresh faces, while I'm half-dressed and Cooper is eating a slice of bread in the car for second breakfast. She says, "Slow down, mama."

I pull into the park, and take my sleepy, crumb-filled nugget out of the car. We take the path by the lake to watch the ducks swim, and I catch myself breathing for the first time all morning.

Coop asks, "Dis?" as we pass each tree, and I make up names for each of them. I was never very good at nature. "That one is a Gracie tree. This one is a Cooper tree." He spots the ducks and watches them bathe and dive and float and fly. He asks, "Mama?" and holds his hands up because they're getting cold. I pretend to eat his fingers, and he thinks it's hilarious.

We walk back to the car, and I drop him off at daycare. What a perfect morning. Saying yes to 10 minutes of unplanned peace made all the stress of my single-parent morning routine melt away. This is my kind of meditation.