Monday, April 16, 2012

Motherhood Essay by Emily Baer

{Photos by Marianne Brown Photography.}

Sensible Shoes

by: Emily Baer

Motherhood is mostly about wearing the right shoes.

We are ballet dancers with our newborns in the middle of the night. We are construction workers on the living room carpet with our toddlers and their building blocks. We are scientists and mystics when banishing bad dreams and monsters in the closet. We are coaches, cheerleaders, teammates when life gets tough and faith is thin on the ground. We are therapists and sometimes we are drill sergeants. We are intuitive, understanding, and forgiving. We are the kissers of boo-boos, the medical team on the field, the picker-uppers, the duster-offers, the go-get-em-now-ers.

We are the teenage battering rams. We are the least liked chefs. We are the ponytail wearers, the carpool drivers, the wipers of smudges, the please and thank you enforcers.

We are the grateful recipients of dandelions and painted paper hearts, of whispered I love you’s and little hands held in the dark; and also of rolled eyes and skeptic pre-teen attitudes.

We are a brave face. We are pilgrims on our knees asking for guidance, direction, and a few tablespoons of grace. We are the tearful-proud standing in the corners, watching our little ones blossom for all the world to see.

We are believers of make believe and impossible dreams. We are the keepers of maps, the holders of keys, pilots and co-pilots when those dreams take flight (and they regularly do).

We are champions of the underdog. We are party planners and cupcake decorators, banner hangers and town criers when the world should know how wonderful our children are.

We are the oft under-consulted consultants. We are collectors, curators of our children’s hopes and histories. We are the ride to the movies, the ticket to freedom, the tether to self discipline.

We are the first sought when something is amiss. We are the seekers and the finders, be it mittens, or homework papers, or broken heart pieces. We are a harbor. And a force. We are just the right words at just the right moment; a quiet resolve to see things all the way through.

And when it is entirely necessary, we are professors of lost arts, like how to spin around barefoot in the sunshine.


Emily Baer is a wife, a writer, the mother of four: two teenage daughters, a kindergartner, and a one year old son.

Her snow boots get a lot of use in the Colorado winters, but you should see the pile of shoes by her door.

She can be reached at collectingraindrops(at)gmail(dot)com