Success, Mom Style

How do you measure success?

As a working woman, as a manager, it’s about time management; organization and multi-tasking; respect. It’s about balancing the importance of small triumphs and big rookie mistakes. It’s about leaving work in the parking lot as I drive away — to return just a few hours later sometimes.

As for the rest of my life, success is all at once harder and easier to measure.

It’s mostly about making the most out of every moment — standing by the screen door to feel the mist of a springtime thunderstorm breezing by our world and equally admiring the birds building a nest in our wisteria bush on a sunny afternoon. It’s about being present, and about being thankful.

Success is making it through my first year as a mom (almost!) relatively healed and a better person. It’s about being an advocate for moms like me, sons like Zack and diseases and diagnoses like Down Syndrome — without being overbearing, annoying or obsessed.

Success is waking up to a world where new friendships are born out of memories and different walks of life… paths that lead to playdates and teary-eyed stories and everything in between. The understanding of complex feelings on complicated days without saying a single word about it all.

Success is a day like today.

A day where understanding the significance of my son sitting up on his own is not lost on me but not the only thing that moves me, either. It’s a day where I can let him fall 10 times, one of those likely resulting in a good cry from the impact of the toy behind his head. I bite my lip, hold back my hand from caressing the sore spot and watch as the tears quickly dry up and life is good again.

Yes, life is good again. One point for Mommy.

A day like today brings me a boy whose mid-morning cat nap can only be found on Mommy’s chest today. And I won’t argue with that at all.

Success is catching up with my dad, my stepmother, my Godmother and a best friend, and reaching out to the voicemails of a handful more.

I am successful today because I hugged my husband a little more, told him “I love you” a few more times and meant it with all of my heart. Where the seriousness and beauty of the journey we’ve shared makes us stronger, not weaker. And a day where “forever” sounds like a piece of cake. We’ve made it to what has got to be Hell — and back — and then a few more times — and days like this, he holds me close, tells me he’s “having a moment” and just can’t let me go.

Yes, I must be doing something right.

Success is laughing with my nearly 10-month-old son over nothing at all; neither one of us is able to stop.

Success is feeling his heavy weight on my hip as I hold him in front of his crib, the curtains drawn, pajamas on, milk in belly. I tell myself it’s OK that it’s still so hard to let go. And that it’s even better that I’m able to do just that.

I didn’t finish the laundry I started.

I only read one magazine, not the other 10 in my must-read-soon pile. (Hey guess what — Osama’s been killed!)

I am only now sitting down to write a blog I’ve been thinking about for hours; the latest in a handful that need written and shared.

I didn’t buy any more work clothes. I definitely didn’t make it to the grocery store.

But I laughed, I smiled, I rested, I thought, I prayed, I hoped, I drank some wine, I laughed some more. I loved a lot. I was loved.

I lived a good day today.

And I think that makes me successful.

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