As a child of the nineties, I was heavily into the fashions of the day during my early teens. For me this included Spice Girls-inspired chunky shoes, chokers, dark makeup, and, naturally, coloured sunglasses. When I was 14, I had some completely rad yellow sunglasses which I wore out sailing on my Grandpa’s sailboat one summer. There I was, lying on the deck of the sailboat with my friend, in my sunglasses and my cut-off jean shorts, busily keeping my eyes peeled for any boys that might show up on the horizon. Then, while I lazily peered over the side of the boat at the water as we sailed along the Georgia Straight, I lost my yellow sunglasses. They slipped off my face and fell into the water, and even though they were cheap and ridiculous, I was sad. I liked them, I felt cool in them, and they made everything look sunny and bright. But in that moment I knew I would never see them again.
Fast forward to a year later; summertime, same friend, same sailboat, same summer trip to our cabin on the gulf islands. We had been island hopping, and were having a mid-day swim in the bay of a random island in the area. We were wading in the water, on a fools errand for pearls, when I felt my foot land on something inorganic. Curious, I reached under the water, into the sand at my feet and pulled up the very same yellow sunglasses I had lost over the side of the boat the year before.
The insane improbability of me stumbling upon my sunglasses in a bay after losing them over the side of the boat a year before is, of course, simply mind-boggling. At the time I couldn’t believe it, and I’d have a hard time believing it today, if I didn’t remember it so clearly. That day I was exposed to a level of amazingness that I had never experienced before, and it blew my 15-year-old mind.
Fast forward again to ten years after that, when I found out I was pregnant for the first time — something I didn’t expect. Yet from that moment on, amazingness became almost too normal of an occurrence as I watched my stomach become huge and start to move of its own accord. I remember feeling my baby boy’s hand push against my stomach from the inside, and when I would gently push back in he would respond by pushing back against my hand. I mean … what? And then he was born, and every day since then has been an unexpectedly amazing, undeserved honour. When his sister was born it was the same thing, and my question was: why should I be so lucky, to be the mother of two miracles?
As this blog will often attest to, it is easy for me to get caught up in the mundane of the every day with my kids — the Cheerios on the floor, the fingerprints on the wall, the lego under the couch, the aches in my back. But when I think about how amazing it is to have the privilege of being a mom, I realize it’s like finding those yellow sunglasses that day — not only because something amazing happened to me, but because I feel like my particular kids made their way to me, and I to them, against many odds; improbably, unexpectedly, undeservedly. Without me even trying to find them, two of the most important people in my life just landed at my feet, and I get to have the pleasure and privilege of being their mom, just like that. Jackpot. Amazingness. Incredible. Motherhood may be common, but there is absolutely nothing common about it. What an amazing honour and ongoing privilege it is to be called “Mommy,” and I will take it for as long as I can get it.
I lost and found those yellow sunglasses again a couple of times after that, believe it or not, and then one day I lost them for the very last time. But a part of me still believes they will turn up one day — I’ll be out walking and a unicorn will drop them on my head, or something. I am a full believer in amazing things happening, after all. Because, well, I mean, come on: