Vera Orsini: What Surprised Me Most About Motherhood

A Runner-up Winner of the YMC/Playtex Writing contest

Vera Orsini - What Surprised Me Most About Motherhood

YMC teamed up with Playtex to celebrate the wild ride of parenting by asking moms to submit a story describing “What Surprised You Most About Motherhood.” The stories made our judges laugh, cry, and nod heads in agreement, but they were finally able to narrow it down to these winning submissions. Read this runner-up winner's story about how motherhood surprised her.

I'm gonna win by default," she predicted.  "It would be hysterical!! Don't you think?"

"It'll be a good experience," she said.

"Even though I don't think I'm gonna win, I'm gonna try and that's all that matters," she mused as she headed out to the field after school.

Two other kids were waiting with the coach—which surprised her. She needed to complete three tasks against her own gender and grade. She was the only girl standing there.

She grinned.

Pass, punt, and kick. I'll be honest with you — I have no clue what punt means. We are not a football family and here in our new home of Saskatchewan everyone is a Rider fan.  \However, she knew that the end goal of competing in Regina and winning meant four tickets to a Riders game and being on a tv. She was going to try.

She threw ... she put her all into that first throw. She glanced over at my husband and said nonchalantly, "I'm not that good."

My husband gave her a thumbs up.

She punted. It didn't go that far.

She kicked. It sort of went straight.

She won by default and is competing against other schools. She did the happy dance.

"Are you worried?" I asked.

"No. I had fun. That's all that matters," she informed me.

I used to wonder if she cared what people thought about her. I've heard other people talk about their eleven-year-old daughters and the issue of self-esteem. While she has been hurt when someone is outright mean to her, for the most part she is oblivious to the inner workings of peer pressure.

She is confident in herself. "Mom, I'm fine with how I look," she sighed at me while wearing pink track pants, yellow socks and a bright red shirt. "I'm wearing this, not you."

She wants singing lessons, even though she can be off key...a lot. She creates art that is stunning and gorgeous. I think it is too. She wonders why others can't see what she sees in it. She sadly inherited her uncoordinated athleticism from me but she plays soccer with the attitude she is Chistiano Ronaldo. (Go ahead and look that up. I had to look it up too when she told me about him). She hears herself as Jimi Hendrix when she plays her guitar. She blogs to show other kids moving sucks but if she can do it — they can too. I laugh with tears coming down my face at her comedic one-liners.

When we moved here, she caught me one day with tears in my eyes. She gave me the biggest hug. "It's okay Mom. I'm here. We'll get through this and go home to Ontario soon." Her empathy and respect for others knows no bounds.

The best way to describe her is to re-tell the story of when she was five. Her grandmother asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween.

"A ninja turtle," she replied.

Her grandmother inquired, "Wouldn't you like to wear a girl costume and be a princess or a butterfly?"

Looking at her grandmother with disdain she retorted, "If a girl wears it, it's a girl costume. If a boy wears it, it's a boy costume. If it's on the floor, it's just a costume!!!!"

I always thought that when I had children, I would teach them everything I knew. Granted it wasn't much, but I thought I had some important wisdom to impart.

What surprised me the most about motherhood is how much I have learned from her. I never saw that one coming.

For even more inspiring stories that celebrate and reflect on what it means to be a mom, visit our "YMC and Playtex Writing Contest Winners" page.