Sometimes I feel like a fake mom. So...follow my line of thinking here. I'm out in the yard watering Big Diva's plants that we planted two weekends ago and I watch the dry clumps of dirt flood over and think to myself, I think I have already killed them. And I, as of this writing, have no definitive proof that I have not in fact killed my 4 year old's plants. I was a little uplifted to see the tiny sprouts of cilantro growing, but the dog who was a close trot behind me squatted right over them and peed. My first thought was..."oh great, I don't have to water there." Followed closely by "Ooooh...I can't eat those now!" So while I was thrilled that my dog's relief assured that the little sprouts remained hydrated, the thought of cooking with plants raised on dog piss...well sicks me out.
So... while my Little Diva slept and Big Diva was at school....(pause for tangent) apparently boycotting her school work, which was neatly stapled and handed off to me to deal with tonight and return to school FINISHED tomorrow...hello? That's homework...that's cold blooded for preschool...evil even! (resume!) I was out watering our yard. (and tangent again) I have to admit that after the rain last month seeing the smile on my little kiddo's face when she saw that the WEEDS had grown waist high and thought it some sort of fairy miracle, I thought to myself...self I better get me some real plants cause...well that's what moms do. (resume) So I was watering the seeds we planted. Granted our version of planting was throw seeds down, throw down big bag of potting soil...water. What??? I have a one year old, who has time to plant, plant...unless I wanna watch her eat it. Anyway I was watering covertly doing the fairy gardening thing, when I heard Miss Perfect Mom and her two perfect kids next door playing in their yard. Now don't get me wrong. I really like Miss Perfect Mom, she's really nice. In fact she's not perfect at all she's about 45% as disheveled as I am and about 48% better at keeping her cool, in public at least. On the plus side for Fake Mom...I'd venture to guess I'm about 56% cuddlier and crazier in the good times, of which there are many many a day. So...in all Perfect Mom and Fake Mom (aka Momma Drama) do eventually even out.
However today, hearing them play some fantasy tea party game together enjoying the beautiful day...I felt like a phony. While me and the kids have done that a lot...in fact we are dining alfresco in the Buddha Bar these days (read: slightly cleaned up porch with a table that used to have a Buddha statue on it and will again darn it)for this particular moment they sounded like a "family". A family who does family things.
Now our yards are literally separated by a line of Home Depot reed barriers, you can see through them and hear through them, it's like we live in each others backyard so we get a lot of up close and personal with the Perfect Family. Mom Perfect is a director (insert envy and some contemplating of a deadly sin on Momma Drama's part)I always thought "Oh how great for you"....(seethe)and Dad Perfect is some uber something at the LA Times...you know when someone has a massive job and their spouse almost whispers it like "everyone knows" so you won't say it out loud, cause its so top secret the skies may start raining secret service any minute at the briefest mention of his God-like employment. So needless to say, I understood it to be big time. Their house isn't big, but they own it and well, they know enough people to know that they are "in" someone's crowd. So Perfect Mom and I became friends talking over "the wall" she came over a few times with the Perfect Kids and saw the shrapnel and destruction that was "a day of daycare" and stayed a while then politely left. I was mortified, but life is life, I can take hard knocks, brush it off. The house is mostly clean now...post daycare.
So I was eventually thrilled to find out that Perfect Mom had a "day job" and her house was equally as trashed as mine and she had a maid, a nanny and a husband....sigh...retribution. However I never knocked her off of that pedestal even though she almost fell off it all on her own.
And I have never stopped thinking that I'm a Fake Mom. I tuck my kids into bed like every other mom, I read bedtime stories, do bath time, we made Loquat jam from our tree outside tonight, I sing songs, we dance etc. I even sat next to Big Diva while she did homework, I cook, I clean, I enrich my kiddo's lives...and yet I feel like a fake. Maybe cause I'm not married and some Uber whisper-only employed man doesn't bound home at night so that I can grit my teeth and say, in a loving tone, "look kids, Daddy's here" as I shove them over so that I can get some of MY work done. Nope it's just me. When I've done all the mom things I can do in the right mom times, I send them off to do there things so that I can get my work done. For Big Diva it is a movie. She sits and watches a movie on our house-sized TV and I work. Little Diva gets her bath a bottle and off to bed. But when Big Diva and I are sitting there just doing our thing, next to each other, in the same room we are worlds apart. I am not her mom. (sort of) and she isn't my daughter...we aren't the Perfect's, we are Big Diva Drama and Momma Drama, she's lost in her world of make believe and I am making worlds of make believe and Little Diva is dreaming.
At that point we are three individuals. We have shut off the "family" and become ourselves. My love is as great as it ever has been, but I'm me for a moment. I'm the me I was before the kids and I am dreaming too, reaching for my stars, trying to move my mountains and that's when it hits me. I'm a fake. I'm not all consumed with my kids, I'm not living for them exclusively and I'm about a 20 hour plane trip, two bus rides with a transfer and a 15 minute walk away from any place even remotely perfect.
My kids go to dinner parties, but we don't play shoots and ladders (we will when Little Diva stops eating the game pieces), we are going to Burning Man, but I've never cooked a roast (and won't cause we are vegetarians). My kids know all about adoption and being chosen, but I'll never give birth to any kids. They have a Dad, but we'll never be married. They are happy and loved and live in an amazing world, but it's not "real" not in the way people think families should be. And while I love our unreal world, sometimes...when standing in a garden trying to get my crap planting to grow, knowing that I essentially gave them little or no chance for survival and hearing The Perfects I feel like a fake. And well...I don't think I'll ever be real, but I think the kids are okay with that. They have all they need and more...but one day they'll discover that it wasn't anywhere near Perfect and I hope they are okay with that, I hope it inspires them to raise their little imperfect families :-). More than anything I hope they understand that I can't be The Perfects, I can try to be the best that I can hope I will ever be, and I can reach for the stars and grab one, but they'll have to be happy with a "fake mom" who loves them dearly.