Mom Moments - You Wouldn't Even Recognize Me

This essay was originally published on Thursday, May 24, 2007 in a land far away:

The other day the mailman honked at me from the driveway, code for "you have a package that won't fit in your mailbox, and there ain't no way I'm getting out of my truck in this rain." I ran out, grabbed the box from him and ran back inside the house.

Right away hubby glances at me with a "what did you win/order/buy/sign up to test/beg/borrow/steal now?" kind of look. I honestly couldn't remember what I was waiting on, so I ripped into the box like it was Christmas treasure. Here was what was inside:

Yes, folks, your computer screen is working... this is froggy downspout decor. Mass-produced somewhere near China, this is going under my gutters. I bought it, paid for it, and will be using it. What have I become?

There was a time when this would have appalled me. But I was a different person then.

Four kids ago, I was sporting a navel piercing.. now I wear mid-rise jeans and stretchmarks.

Four kids ago, I listened to punk and played the drums.. now talk radio mingles with Wee Sing tapes.

Four kids ago, Dazed and Confused was my favorite movie.. now Barney plays all day until 9 p.m., when I collapse in front of the evening news.

Four kids ago, I wore eyeshadow, in different shades, and glitter in my hair on the weekends.. now I moisturize and call it a day.

Four kids ago, I could stay up all night and brag about the exciting time I I stay up all night and complain that the kids didn't sleep and I'm the walking dead.

Four kids ago, I kept my hair short, spiky, and cut it every 3 I fight to grow an inch a year, wear it in a pony, and scrape what I'm losing out of the shower drain every morning.

Four kids ago, midriff tops were tops, I always painted my nails (mostly in metallic or rainbow), and I never sported leg stubble.. now flannel pants are king, I paint my nails for weddings, and I shave when I remember.

But, in spite of me being in what some people would call a "rapid decline," I have also changed for the better. I am proud of things I hid as a child. I love the freckles I always covered with makeup. I know better than to lay out all day in the sun in hopes of a sunburn that will eventually become a tan. I speak my mind and don't worry about sounding too smart. Or too dumb. I know who loves me, and I stay in those relationships. Those who don't can leave. I finally figured out that I will never be a doctor, lawyer, model, astronaut, or journalist. I am excited that I can instead be a cook, housekeeper, teacher, medic, writer, landscaper, personal shopper, wife, daughter, mother, aunt, sister, and friend.

Take a moment to think about who you are... and just how far you've come!