It is said that after the kids start growing up, the parents often find each other once again, as individuals, as a couple, as lovers. I can’t wait to find us as we have been lost in parenthood for so long, but I must find myself from the trenches of motherhood first.
I want to start recognizing the person I see in the mirror, not just a hazy image of someone who looked like me.
Who am I kidding? This is not who I looked like. My clothes were better coordinated and were definitely much cleaner. There was never any flour from the cookies I baked yesterday, nor were they tiny handprints full of mashed potatoes stuck onto my shorts. There was never the same pair of pajamas I had worn last week, and they were certainly more vibrant than just blue or black.
I want to start recognizing the voice I had. The voice with which I shared my opinions on subjects other than toys or diaper brands, on politics rather than kids’ quarrels, or sports rather than swimming classes. The voice I used to chat with friends on topics other than drop-offs or pick-ups, on make-up tips rather than healthy lunchbox recipes. The voice I had inside my head that spoke about goals and targets, rather than the next creative activity to keep the kids entertained.
I want to find the smile that was on my face when I found a new novel to read, the satisfaction I got from finishing the book in one night straight, rather than the happiness I get from being able to sleep a couple of hours straight. The smile I had when you looked at me, and not only when the kids hugged me or showed off their piece of art with pride.
I want to find the peace I got from just being by myself, and not the anxiety I have from being away from the kids. The silence I could enjoy, even in a crowded department store as I strolled through the aisles, without missing the chaos back at home.
I want to find my body. A body that belonged to me alone. A body I took care of in so many different ways, by washing my hair regularly and even polishing my nails without having to do so with 20 other nails waiting for me. A stomach I chose what to put in, rather than gulping down leftovers from last night’s dinner. A body that got the rest it well-deserved.
I want to find all aspects of myself, and I believe I am ready to do so.
I can never be who I used to be wholly as my heart now lays outside my body with two other human beings constantly on my mind.
But I am looking forward to finding semblance to the girl I once was, so I can find my soulmate in you all over again.