Rebecca Brown

On Friday night I was sitting

out on my patio turned preschool parking lot when Batman crept

around the corner. Okay, so it wasn’t exactly Batman. It was

five-year old Leo dressed as Batman with full-length cape and


Beth Shalom Cemetery ad

My friend Megan

and her date Dane were in tow. It didn’t take more than five

minutes of casual introductions before Dane began singing Megan’s

(well-deserved) praises. That Leo had wished for a Batman cape back

in the spring, that Batman capes aren’t so easy to find in months

that don’t start with “O” and that Megan had in fact stitched up

the very cape that Batman — I mean Leo — was sporting.

I’ll be the

first to admit that the cape demonstrated a fair bit of

seam-stressing prowess from the bright yellow felt bat emblem

stitched on the back to the drawstring around the collar. (My

rendition would have most certainly been fastened with a safety

pin. Or duct tape.)

But Dane sang on

even though Megan and I both knew the truth.<span style=

“mso-spacerun: yes;”>  There was nothing particularly heroic

about cape-making. Moms make things work. That’s our job. And when

we can’t buy capes, we make them so our children can be


The irony of it

all?  This is what our

children teach us to do.

Take my son Ben.

In those late night feedings — just as he dozed back to sleep — I

would whisper to him. You saved me. Not that

I thought I was destined for a miserable existence … though given

my sleep deprivation, mean case of “you can look but don’t touch”

engorgement, and a belly full of staples it was in fact a bit

miserable. Rather, I meant that by his birth alone he had managed

to deliver a life time’s worth of lessons to me about the strength

of my body and my heart. <span style=

“mso-spacerun: yes;”> Big lessons from such a tiny little


Had he really

saved me? Or was it just mother’s intuition? Only time would


A few days after

our dinner I received a hand-written note in the mail. <span style=

“mso-spacerun: yes;”> It was from Mary Ann. She lives down

the street from us (which made U.S. Post delivery even more

notable) and she’s also our Parents As Teachers educator. She knows

a lot about our family. She wrote that she had been following the

blog and was enjoying the anecdotes about the children. But it was

the closing that got me. She wrote that she hoped things in our

home were as positive as I painted them to be.

Well. They’re

not — a least not all of the time. Whose life is?

But it’s all

relative. It’s what I’ve chosen to make of it that’s (perhaps)

noteworthy. And positive.

By my

calculation I get about 18 years at home with each of my children.

Ben is six which means I am almost a third of the way through and

you better believe that I’m not going to be wasting one moment of

that time being negative.

I’m planning to

spend it being happy. I’ll make every moment count. I’ll be

forgiving. I’ll stand steadfast behind the decisions that best suit

my family, even when they are unpopular. I’ll be grateful. When

things are broken, I’ll fix them. I’ll take care of myself so I can

take care of them. Sometimes I’ll choose to be here, even when you

want me there. And I will try to be the person I want my children

to become even when it’s tiring and I think they aren’t watching.

And when I fail, I will get up the next day and start again.

Ben taught me to

do all of these things by his arrival alone and maybe that’s how he

saved me.

And us.

So this one’s

for all of those mothers out there who fix things, forgive,

sacrifice, are there when someone else wants them to be here, who

stand steadfast even when it’s tiring, and especially to those who

make capes so their children can be superheroes.<span style=

“mso-spacerun: yes;”>  Have a safe and happy Halloween.