“Damn, girl! Did you see that? It’s from being a mom.” I actually said these phrases to a friend at work today after I caught something before it hit the floor. Then with dramatic flair I mimicked catching imaginary items at lightening speed and said, “Catch the Sippy. Boom! Catch the Binki. Boom!” Then we exchanged a knowing look and a couple of head nods. She’s a mom, too. She knows. (Dang! We should have fist bumped before I went back to my desk. That would have been the perfect ending!)
I’m not exaggerating when I say it wasn’t until becoming a mother that I developed these frickin’ awesome reflexes. (I hate to sound arrogant, but they’re pretty dang fast.) I have always been a very active person but never really skilled, which does typically require some good reflexes, right? And coordination. And aim. None of which I’ve ever possessed. Although I never played organized sports because I have always been so clumsy, I’ve always been pretty active, especially as a kid. I figured as long as I wasn’t letting a team down, I would try anything on my own or with friends, but I paid for my inadequacies along the way. Case and point, I broke my tailbone while riding my pink banana seat bike on the BMX track when I was twelve. I nearly broke my neck numerous times climbing many a tree. I still have the scar on my shin from the time my bike pedal became lodged in my leg. My knee has never been the same since I wiped out about 10 years ago on my favorite off-road trail. Inline skates were all the rage when I was a tween; you can imagine the road rash.
True, I have improved some reflexes while riding the trails. Learning to duck and maneuver quickly became a matter of self-preservation. But nothing, nothing, has trained my reflexes like motherhood. I can catch a toy, a cookie, or a kid before the object (or child) reaches my mid-thigh. My hand sometimes has bruises on the top from quickly inserting it between the top of my son’s head and the nearby doorknob or counter top corner. (He’s just at the right height now.) My reflexes have literally become lightning fast. It is absolutely mind-blowing. Even my kids are awestruck sometimes.
I’m convinced motherhood is the sole reason my reflexes have improved so much. There is an innate need to protect our children (well, for most of us mothers, that is – but that’s a topic for another day). Just like in pregnancy and delivery, our bodies just adapt naturally in order to protect our little loves. Self-sacrifice and developing super human skills like freakishly fast reflexes and clairvoyance are all just part of the gig.
So what’s my point of this post?
MOTHERS ARE SUPERHEROS, of course.