Motherhood: Leaving No Talent Behind

I was talking with my friend the other day and she brought up a very interesting point on motherhood. She said we can use almost any talent God has blessed us with in being a mother. The more I thought about this the more I realized the validity in what she said. Talents that would otherwise be collecting dust in our craniums, never to see the light of day, are revived when you are a mother.

I'm turning 32 this week and as a young (or not so young anymore) mother with each passing birthday I reflect more deeply upon my past. I realize the days of my youth are coming to a close and I think fondly of those "What do I want to be when I grow up?" questions that were so pertinent to our childhood...

When I was young at one point I wanted to be a singer. I love to sing.   It's always something I've loved doing but, when I reached adulthood, life got busy, and singing became confined to the many things I used to do when I was young and carefree, but have no use for anymore...

Now I get to sing my kids to sleep at night. I sing my heart out in a vocal range just above a whisper. I see my daughter's eyes fill with sleepy joy. For the first time all day my son lays still for more than two seconds, entranced by my aria. I see him give a slight smile as he falls into a comfortable slumber. Will I ever be a singer? No, but I can sing my kids to sleep.

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I always loved to draw. When I was a kid, an artist is one of the many things I would tell people I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember when I was in 8th grade I was Artist of the Month one time! Well that love pretty much never saw the light of day after middle school. Drawing became trivial compared everything else that could be done and needed to get done.

Joey loves to draw and he loves it when I draw with him. He loves it when I draw our house to the back drop of the jagged dynamic mountains that he sees everyday outside our window. He always wants me to draw him with his family. To my dismay after I'm done drawing he insists on coloring it...

Joey (left), Joe (middle), Me (right) He decided to take over and draw the rest of my body...

Joey (left), Joe (middle), Me (right) He decided to take over and draw the rest of my body...

I so enjoy watching his expression as my pen strokes reveal caricatures of our family. He recognizes who I'm drawing and watches with such anticipation. Will I ever be an artist? Judging from the picture above, most certainly not, but I can draw with my kids...

As soon as i learned to write my first few words, I fell in love with writing. When I was in elementary school I was a prolific writer. I wrote poetry, short stories, and the occasional op ed piece. I remember telling people I wanted to be a writer and publish a book. I was assistant editor of our school newspaper my junior year in HS and in college I did the occasional Xanga thing. It was my outlet. Then I grew up and got busy. The wave of responsibilities, stress, and adulthood washed over this love of mine until it was nothing but a past-time....

Until I started this blog. Ironically I'm struggling to find the right words to express how deeply enjoyable and gratifying it has been to write on this medium. Being a mother has enabled me to awaken my former love. My thoughts about my kids and motherhood whirl around in my head all day and they come and go like a premonition, but when I choose to write them down, it is like giving the premonition a physical body. My thoughts suddenly have the ability to exist in permanence and are able to connect and relate with others. Will I ever be a writer and publish a book? No, probably not, but I can write about my children chronicling the crazy-joyful-tiring journey in being their mother.

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So many talents that wouldn't see the light of day if it weren't for the gift of motherhood. I'll never be a singer, writer, or an artist, but I can be all those things everyday and more for my kids and that is more than enough.

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