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A Mother's Place in the Sun--and the Nitty-Gritty

May 08, 1997|D. JAMES ROMERO

If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Recognizing this to be true, we're sucking up to Ma all this week with excerpts from the latest books on motherhood as we countdown to Mother's Day on Sunday.

Today's selection is from "Surrendering to Motherhood" by Iris Krasnow (Hyperion, 1997).

The journey was over, I was where I belonged. And I seemed to be suspended in time as I scraped hard and long, which was necessary to do a good job, to get all that egg up. These were my children and this was my filthy carpet and I had to be doing what I was doing when I was doing it, however long it took. There was a rightness to being a mother on her knees, scraping and flicking and not thinking about anything else except getting your kids fed and cleaning up after them and Being Where You Are When You Are There . . . .

As I washed eight hands and forty fingers and pinned down four wriggly bodies to get them into shorts, T-shirts, socks and shoes, I remained in the flow of the river of Now that wipes out all anxiety about the past and the future and the Betterment of Self . . . .

Headed to the Washington Hilton pool with four children secured in four car seats in a Chevy Suburban, I absorbed every nuance of Nowness while Theo and Isaac sang "I want to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas" along with Raffi and Zane wailed because the nipple had come off his bottle and he was drenched in peach juice and the scent of Jack's fresh poop wafted toward the driver's seat. After the cacophony of the car came bedlam at the kiddie pool. But the calm that comes from responding without thinking stayed with me as I took part in some fantastic street theater: four boys in yellow inflatable wings splashing and chasing each other, two on foot, two on knees . . . I was alive, fully, in the sun."

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