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Mara Shapiro Headshot

Things I Can Do Since I Became a Mom

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Since I've been in the Mom game for a while (19 years to be exact), I've learned a few things. Not about motherhood per se, because motherhood is crafty. Other things.

The only truth I've learned about actual mothering during my tenure is this: As soon as you think you've got the skills down pat, those kids change the game. They do something like get older or change who they are, or whatever. And then it's back to square one. That place otherwise known as "Oh crap. What do I do now?"

No, what I've learned is about me (really, it always boils down to me). It's been a voyage of self-discovery, this Mom and Pop operation. So, what have I found out in the last 19 (OY!) years besides the fact, as I mentioned, that I don't really know what I'm doing and yet I seem to be doing it fairly competently (as evidenced by the fact that nobody is flunking out, on drugs, in prison, or banned from anyone's house.)

I'm totally a super-hero. I know things, without even trying to know them. I can fix the most terrible boo boos with cold water, the promise of a rainbow, and a kiss. I can hear things that are whispered, even when people aren't at home. I can just sense when something is off-kilter or feelings are hurt. I can also do imaginary things that don't exist except for the most special of us, like cause dishes to move into and out of the dishwasher, enable the cleaning and folding of clothes, activate the food-in-the-fridge program, and most difficult of all, turn off lights and close doors and cupboards.

I can make something from nothing. Well, not really, but it's un-freaking believable what kinds of feasts I can create with a carrot, milk, some cheese, a few noodles (sprinkled with Mama glitter, of course. Don't ask why the cupboards are bare, because it's not that I didn't have time per se to go grocery shopping, but more due to the fact that I didn't actually want to.) I can also procure bristol boards at 10:00 on a Sunday night, make igloos out of glitter glue and some styrofoam, pull Kleenex from the air, and make a pair of shorts out of jeans that are too small.

I can shape shift. One minute I'm Florence Nightingale (see point #1) and the next I'm a teacher (You said WHAT? to her? No, that's NOT how you do it. First, you call her up and...), then I'm Mrs. Fix-it (amazing what one can do with duct tape and a pair of dress pants), and a few minutes later I'm Mr. Rogers (Welcome to my neighborhood, won't you please come in and eat all my food. No problem, I can just buy more...)

I'm a super-sleuth. I am all-knowing and can figure out mostly everything with my magical unicorn powers. And, what I don't know, I can Google in the bathroom, on an iPhone, while pretending to pee. I can also find anything, no matter where it is. Even if it's not there, I can find it, and it doesn't actually have to exist for it to show up when I cause it to. I don't even have to twitch my nose or snap my fingers.

I can shoot daggers out of my eyes. If I'm mad, I don't even have to say a word. I can just stare, emitting the most poisonous Jewish-guilt-tipped death rays. These looks are able to pierce even the most unrepentant child's heart and conscience, and are far more effective than raising the voice, (a fact which has taken me 18 and two-thirds years to learn.) **Probably my greatest accomplishment as a mother.***

I can travel time. I'd never have imagined it, but I can be in more than one place at the same time. It's truly amazing. You know, I can be on a school field trip, the dentist, yoga, and my kitchen -- all at once. Sometimes the time-traveling is just in my imagination, often during a particularly long and boring story about someone's teacher's sister and their project that... Tahiti... the gym... Adam Levine's house... And sometimes the time traveling is on the wrong day, like that one time (or was it twice) I took my son to a Bar Mitzvah and it was the next weekend.

What else have I learned as a mother? Well, the usual stuff: what unconditional love truly is, patience, kindness, and understanding; fear, hope, and that no matter how many kegels you do when you're pregnant, you'll still never really be able to jump on a trampoline with confidence.

Oh, and also, that no matter how hard you try to keep it from them, your kids will eventually find out what you really were like in high school. They're smart like that. Really smart.

And you? What shizzle can you add to your mom resume?