The same smooth path

Today, all day, I felt like a good mom. The boys listened. We laughed. No one lost it. Homework was a breeze. Dinner was easy.

The machine was well-oiled and ran thus.

I believe that I am a good mother, but that conviction is sometimes harder to both feel and experience than it is to know. Take, for instance, the times another person praises your child for his manners, her leadership, his kindness, her creative spirit. In those moments, you see your child as others do rather than through the many possible lenses that day or week has placed in front of your eyes: ungrateful or authoritarian behavior, obstinance, yet another unapproved "science experiment" that's laid waste to your kitchen.

When you're battling over inane crap like toothpaste and pancakes and mediating sibling bicker fests about the number of raspberries per plate or the correct name of the Plus Plus toy; when you scream despite your best efforts or because you simply need to be can be hard to pat yourself on the back and believe in your maternal goodness. 

But on some days, the stars align and you find yourselves all walking the same smooth path together, hand in hand. 

And it's as lovely and simple and satisfying as you imagine it could be. Should be. Perhaps wish it were more often. Maybe will be tomorrow too.

For now, I'm staying present, stewing in the thick deliciousness of watching their crawls come along at swimming lessons and them dance their way to the parking lot afterwards. Of treating them to a surprise trip to the bookstore and beaming as they picked out one small book each, thoughtfully and gratefully. Of hugging them close when they thanked me so sincerely for the new books and being their mom.

Days like today can seem like sparkling bits of heavenly ephemera, but boy can they fill a mom's bucket.