Celebrating Mother’s Day with a vintage post

Recently, Brenda from GrrlGuide wrote a post titled “If You Could Pick a Super Power, What Would It Be?”

It made me smile because I remembered a post I had written back in May, 2010.

Given that today is Mother’s Day, I thought it poignant to share it with all of you since it narrates the lengths a single mother will go to when trying to stay afloat.

I hope you like it and also, that you’ll visit Brenda’s blog.

She’ll make you laugh with her humorous, yet insightful posts, that narrate what most of us women go through on a regular basis.

Happy Mother’s Day, ladies!

And now without further ado, I give you

Do Super Heroes Exist?

cc licensed flickr photo shared by ***Yellow***

Super heroes. Super powers. The stuff children and many adults spend hours playing, creating, and fantasizing about.

When I was a child, many an afternoon was spent talking with my sisters about the wonders of saving the world from evil villains.

Our favorite question was always, “If you had a super power, what would it be?”

The answers to this open-ended question were endless.

Sometimes we would wish for the much coveted x-ray vision, while other times, we wanted to be invisible.

At the time, little did I know that I was destined to possess a super power; the super power of being able to go for days without sleeping.

I became aware of my ability, when as a single Mom, I had a million things to do and very little time to do them.

As my children got older, my talent continued to evolve as I patrolled them round the clock whilst working both outside and inside the home.

Every morning I would proudly march into the kitchen–a wide-eyed crazy look on my face, hair dishevelled and still wearing the clothes from the previous day–and announce, “I only slept four hours last night”.

The next morning I’d make the same announcement minus an hour.

This process repeated itself until my countdown determined I was powering through the day on only one hour of sleep.

I justified my bad habit by insisting that doctors got little sleep and dismissed any reaction that enlightened me to the facts that a) I wasn’t a doctor and b) I wasn’t being paid a doctor’s salary to stay awake all those hours.

Nothing anyone said mattered. I was a super hero who could stay awake for days.

Or so I thought.

As my days of not sleeping turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months, I rapidly became one of the monsters super heroes battled.

Sleep deprivation had transformed me into a worthy Stephen King character.

Furthermore, I found that laughing hysterically gave me the added spurt of energy I needed to get down the stairs, and into the kitchen every morning.

“I only slept 30 minutes last night. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…”

My grown children’s looks of horror only served to increase my psychotic state.

“What’s wrong with you people?” Oh, forget it. You’re just jealous because neither of you has a super power,” I would scream.

I was one step away from being committed and didn’t know it.

It took both my sisters, my children, and the dog, to get me into a chair that afternoon.

Their intervention yielded the discovery that I was a super hero gone bad and that sleep deprivation was my kryptonite.

I watched sadly as the cape I had jokingly purchased at a party shop was folded and stored in a box.

“It’s time to retire, Mom,” announced the Son.

“Let someone else save the world,” said the Daughter.

Scenes of what I’d done during my time as a super hero flashed before my eyes: staying up all night baking cookies, proofreading papers, folding laundry, bathing the dog, making grocery lists, writing emails, scheduling appointments, and writing in my journal.

Tormented, I wondered who would do all of it now.

That’s when my sister said, “I have a super power.”

I quickly sat up and said, “Really? What is it?”

It was like we were five years old again.

“My super power is called delegating, also known as ‘let everyone take care of their own crap’. If you want, I’ll let you have it for a while.”

“I have the greatest super power of all. It’s the super power of ‘dolce far niente,’ said my other sister.

“Not fair! I want that one!” I replied.

And then I fell asleep.

What’s your super power?


32 thoughts on “Celebrating Mother’s Day with a vintage post

  1. Oh Bella…..being sleep deprived is one of my worst fears! I am not kidding. I need sleep…I always have, I guess I always will. If I had done what you did, I would have been an anxiety ridden maniac. I am glad your sisters and children intervened.

    I haven’t been commenting lately, but your posts have been insightful, and fun. I always read your stuff….sometimes I am a loss of what to say. Just wanted you to know sometimes I lurk, but I will always be an avid fan.

  2. Lurk on, pretty lady! I’m happy to have you,with or without comment! Don’t you forget that! Happy Mother’s Day, Georgia! :)

  3. Your posts are always fun to read, Bella. I walk around pretty much all day, every day, feeling like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Most of it is because writing is my priority, and besides work, sometimes (ok, often) I let other things fall to the wayside. I’m in a perpetual state of overwhelm, always asking myself, how do other people manage to have their shit together??? My superpower can’t even keep up with my nails!

    1. June, I second that, sister! You have no idea how many times I have wished for the day to have more than 24 hours. However, I’m so darn tired come the night that if it did, I’d already be dead! :) Moral to this story: We gotta slow it down, girlfriend! :)

  4. I love that you’d bought a cape, Bella! I joke about sleep deprivation. But, if I don’t take a break once in a while, I know I suffer. When I was a kid, I used to leap from the arms of the sofa, convinced I would fly if I only extended my limbs in the perfect way. I also dreamed I could breathe under water… :) If I could choose a super power, I would probably choose to be able to alter time — so I could stop every bad thing before it happened (and sleep without feeling like I’d missed anything). ;) Thanks for the link to Brenda’s blog. Happy Mother’s Day!

    1. Kenya, thank goodness my son was able to use the cape for a Halloween party that same year. I’d hate for it to have to stay in the box forever! :) Ah, the flight superpower…a popular one as well! I like the time altering one–I’d love to time travel. There are days I think I was born in the wrong century. How I wish I could battle windmills along Don Quijote, or is that my dementia talking? hee hee! Thank you for your well wishes!

  5. Oh, Bella. I understand that power. While I am not alone in parenting our little guy, my hubs kryptonite is lack of sleep, so I’ve always been on night duty. And he STILL isn’t the greatest sleeper.

    I am glad your sister’s were willing to share their powers with you.

    And, by the way, “dolce far niente” happens to be one of my favorite phrases. :)

    1. Amber, I learned the beauty of the phrase “dolce far niente” long before Julia Roberts did in Eat, Pray and Sleep, I mean, love. (That movie almost put me to sleep!) There’s nothing like wallowing in the beauty of doing nothing. Just being. Now that’s a super power!:)

  6. As someone who did not read Eat, Pray, Love or see the film, I’m not sure what dolce far niente means, though it sounds rather sweet. I am constantly sleep-deprived thanks to my late nights blogging. Sigh. Alas, I have no super powers, except maybe, worrying. I’m really great about worrying. Anything can provoke me into a deep bout of worrying.

    1. Monica, literally “dolce far niente” means “sweet doing nothing” and it’s the pleasantness of not doing anything. Lately, I too have been falling into the sleep deprivation trap. There’s just so much to do always, you know? I hope to be able to repay my slept debt soon though. Not sleeping gives you wrinkles, or so I hear! :)

  7. Bella, my friend Tracy and I were just talking about this. How as a mom you just soldier on. You just get it done. You’ll sleep tomorrow, next week, in 18 years. How do we survive motherhood, seriously? Speaking of which, Happy Mother’s Day, friend!

    My super power: I have really, really good aim.

    1. Heidi, if you and I joined our super powers, we’d make a formidable team, amiga! And you and Tracy are right, in motherhood we just soldier on. I think when they created the slogan of “Army of One” they were thinking of mothers! I hope you had a great Mother’s Day, friend! :)

  8. My super power is being able to take the phone off the hook and realise that the world will go on if I am not there to rescue everyone. I was sleep deprived during the years I raised my children which is why I don’t feel guilty sleeping now. Loved your post, I found it very humorous and therapeutic.

    1. Elizabeth, my sister would agree that this is the best super power a woman can have! I am getting better at delegating but sometimes it’s hard when the things you delegate never get accomplished, you know? I’m very happy you liked my post! Thanks for making my day! :)

  9. Now I know why you asked in a recent post if we took naps :) Which led us here. “Sleep deprivation had transformed me into a worthy Stephen King character.” Love this line. I can see it.
    What is my super power? I believe it’s delegating responsibilities too.
    Happy Mother’s Day Bella!

    1. Debra, you and Elizabeth have much to teach the rest of us women! I want to be just like the two of you! :) You saw the hook in the post lineups, did you? Good! :) I hope your Mother’s Day was stupendous!

    1. And what a super power that is! Every time I select a pear, thinking it’s ripeness is “just right,” I nearly break a tooth from biting into its still unripened state. I demand you give me your super power! :)

  10. Sleep deprivation is awful. I look at pictures of my daughter and I when she was first born to a few months old and I look exhausted. I hated not sleeping. It affected every part of my life. While I’d do it all again for my daughter, I’m glad she learned to sleep through the night at a young age.

    I’m not sure what superpower I’d want. Hmm. How about one where I could control people’s emotions? I’d get rid of grumpy people and make them happy instead. The world would be a much nicer place. :)

    1. Oh Kelly, that is a wonderful super power! By all means, lets transform grumpy people into cheerful ones! It makes me sad to see so much bitterness on the faces of some unlucky folks. And besides, what better way to save the world than that! I’m glad your daughter is finally sleeping through the night. I was lucky that neither of my children were fussy when they were small and the Son slept so much on the first night, I had to wake him to breastfeed!

  11. This is really funny considering you posted about our Right to Nap earlier in the week. Which I did!!! Sunday, for just a bit. But I thought of you and smiled. =) My super power is seeing movie dialog and conversations as typed out text (cuz of my job as a transcriptionist). Never underestimate the powers of my memory!

    1. And a powerful memory is indeed a super power, girl! Just ask my mother! hee hee! I’m grinning from ear to ear that you took and nap! Good for you!

    1. hahahahaha!! The minute a reader posts a comment, he or she is assigned a “little monster.” Unfortunately, you get the same little monster always. So I’m afraid you’re stuck with him! hee hee! :)

  12. Oh my, Bella… I am so late to the party and in responding. Please forgive me. I had a writing self-imposed deadline to met this weekend, and I’ve been buried in Monday work, especially bad as I was out on Friday and I am only coming up for air now. Hugs for this most amazing thing. I am touched beyond words (which as you know is usual for me since I am always running a muck about something, at least with my words.) It’s so rare to find true kindness anymore – and when I stumble upon it, I am in awe of the moment and the person because it stands me still. The post aside, which I love as I do all of your posts, as they make me smile from the inside out, but mostly because I am new to the blogosphere and only came to it because it’s a requirement for new authors to have one… I’ve been terrified to be honest. I didn’t think I could blog, what would I say, who would read what I wrote, but so much more daunting than my own little ego, was would I find kindred writers that I actually enjoyed reading…. That I looked forward to. In you I have found that. You are a generous woman who I am fairly certain is related to me.. at least cosmically. My writer’s fragile heart and soul are tickled pink to have found you and your site in all this madness. Big hugs, and thank you from the bottom of my heart and all the way down to my size ten (yes, Herman Munster) feet.


    1. Brenda, you are a doll and you deserve recognition for your writing! It’s my pleasure to give a shout out to your blog because I love your writing style! No need to be terrified because you’re doing a fine job, my sister! So keep at it! In the meantime, I will continue to read whatever you publish! :)

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