Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mrs. Softee

I suppose it’s to be expected that giving birth to a small human has a tendency to soften a woman’s rough edges, but I’m starting to get concerned that I am no longer eligible for my status as an honorable New Yorker.  I don’t instigate fights in the grocery check out line, I’ve discovered that I’m driving the speed limit (most of the time), and, horror or all horrors, I haven’t honked my horn even once since we brought the Muffin Man home from the hospital.  I have really lost my edge, and I am concerned that I may never get it back.

Prior to becoming a Mother, I spent most of my life walking around with a big chip on my shoulder.  I’m sure my therapist could explain why this was the case, but since that would be a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality, lets just blame all my problems on my Father and call it a day, shall we?  I was angry all the time, and I felt the best way to express this anger was by yelling at perfect strangers, driving recklessly, and using my horn on an almost hourly basis.  To be fair, quite a few Angelenos drive like utter idiots, but I did act like a complete and total asshole. 

I really had no idea that Motherhood would change me in so many ways.  I knew that I would love my son unconditionally, but I didn’t realize how protective I would feel towards him.  You hear stories about women lifting up cars to save their children, but it wasn’t until I actually had my own child that I understood this instinct.  I no longer value getting somewhere on time if it means running a red light.  I don’t fight with strangers anymore because some of the people who shop at Trader Joes are crazy and liable to stab me with a bamboo skewer, and I don’t use my horn because it makes Noah cry, and his happiness seems so much more important than whether some patchouli-wearing hippie in a Prius is driving too slowly. 

I guess I’m just going to have to learn to love the softer, more sensitive person I’ve become.  I don’t know if it’s the exhaustion, or if it really is the whole Mommy thing, but I don’t have the fight left in me anymore.  I suppose it’s possible that Los Angeles has sucked all the life out of me, but I think it’s more the fact that being present and alive for my son is so much more important than being angry about stuff that happened two decades ago.  My energy is better spent not reliving my own bad childhood, but rather providing a better one for my son.  Sure, I’m never again going to be the tough, nothing-fazes-me gal that I used to be, but that’s ok.  I’m getting more and more comfortable with the friendly, sweet woman who has apparently been living inside me all these years.  But rest assured if you screw with my son, I will cut a bitch.  

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