WARNING: Those of you under the insane impression that I'm some sort of perfect mother should stop reading now. Actually, you should have stopped reading before you began, but that's beside the point :D

This morning, before nine AM, I had yelled at all three boys. I yelled at Artist for being his usual trying self. I yelled at Superhero for spilling a bowl of cereal literally WHILE I was telling him to be careful with it. And I yelled at Fighter for eating a box of cereal. The actual box.

It was the last one that got me. My little Fighter looked at me with shock and betrayal in his beautiful green eyes, and I nearly broke down. Would have, actually, had I not had the presence of mind to know that seeing me cry would have had HIM out of sorts for the rest of the day.

So this afternoon, less than 24 hours after I finally took one of my dear friends up on her repeated offers for babysitting, I stayed home while my husband took the boys to therapy. While they were gone, I made a half dozen phone calls related to the move and the logistics of the boys' treatment. I also made some headway on one of our many random storage spaces (my designation for spaces in the house, including two unused bedrooms, a corner of the dining room, an alcove, and a hall closet, where clutter has accumulated over the past three years), packing up bags and bags of items for charity. I read a few chapters of a novel that I've been wanting to read, and I did some online shopping for lighting fixtures. But mostly, I sat here chastising myself for yelling at the boys this morning.

It's truly not that I think I'm Supermom. In fact, I joke every year that I lose my 'Mom of the Year' award sometime before noon on New Year's Day. But I SHOULD be Supermom. After all, I'm raising superheroes--do they deserve any less than a mom as awesome as they are? No, they don't. They deserve a mom who can handle all they can dish out, who can not only respond to but anticipate their needs, who can be sassed, clean up messes, and explain "Why?" for the five hundred millionth time in a day with a calm voice, a gentle hand, and a smile on her face. That is what they DESERVE.

But what they HAVE is me. A woman who most days can't even figure out when she stopped being a 'girl'. A woman so overwhelmed that even her to-do list makes her want to cry. A screamer whose preferred method of expressing herself is loudly and emphatically. And a person so completely ill-equipped to raise these wonderful little boys that some days she yells at all three of them before breakfast is done.

Luckily, what they also have is a mother who loves them fiercely. FIERCELY, like a lion protecting her cubs. A mother who will go without sleep to make sure they're safe, who will go without food until she's sure they're fed, who will go without anything and everything until their needs are met. A mother who consistently puts her needs after their needs, and often puts her needs after their desires. A mother who recognizes that she doesn't have what it takes to fulfill their needs, and who searches far and wide for people who can help. A mother who plays silly games until her head aches, who makes peanut butter sandwiches until the very smell of peanut butter makes her gag, and who sings lullabies until she's hoarse.

What the X Men are cursed with is a woman who yells at them before breakfast is done.

What they are blessed with is a mother who will move heaven and earth for them.

I pray that, decades from now, they believe the one was a fair trade for the other.

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