I never saw my destiny as being a mother. I thought I had bigger more creative things to do with my life. As many know, my life has had some tremendous creative success albeit not financial, but nevertheless, I do believe having an active art and creative life is crucial. Which I try to do the best I can. During my high school and college years I did quite a bit of babysitting for a small set of families. It was great. I got the opportunity to hang out in beautiful houses in Palo Alto and Portola Valley. Drive their nice cars and be given ample spending money when I would watch the children for the weekend. It was the playing that got a bit old. Especially when they were 2-3 years old, so much time was sitting and playing and sometimes just moving toys from one point the next. On the flip side, the evenings were sprinkled with gems. One little boy having to say goodnight to everything we put away in the refrigerator or giving me a kiss between each slots of his crib. People said the old cliche “It’s different when it’s your own.” I did not believe them…until I had Stella.
A friend asked me the other day “Do you like being a mother?” Seems like a pretty stock question with another mother cliche answer “Of course!” But for me, my answer is different with “I enjoy being around my daughter much more than I thought I would.” “Really? That’s a strange answer” she replies. I thought my time with my baby would be filled with more crying and attention demands than watching her discovery of the world and her sweet expressions. I am happy to have a job to go to each day but I am equally happy to rush home on the metro so I can get an extra 20 minutes with her before she goes to bed. I’ve also practiced a trick that my friend with twins said that if he gives his daughters his undivided attention for a certain amount of time, that will fill their reserve for him to have time do what he needs to do. I see that first hand with Stella. One night I was trying to play with her on the floor while on the phone with a friend from the U.S. After a few minutes she knew my attention was not focused on her and she was not going to be ignored. I reminded myself that for most of her life to date, myself and her dad have been her whole world. Now with the NouNou taking some of our place, she needs that connection with us to bookend her day. This is not a labored responsibility as I thought it would be but fulfilling that I can see the affect first hand of her getting fulfilled with my love and attention.