The Duvet Cover: A Metaphor for Motherhood
(While I’m enjoying the holidays, I’m sharing some of my posts from my previous blog. I hope you enjoy them. This post is from May 2011.)
I’m a work-with-what-you’ve-got kind of girl and don’t have much time or money to redecorate right now, but, in a house full of boys, I am becoming increasingly aware of my desire to insert some feminine details amongst all the cars, trucks, and beer equipment taking over my living room and kitchen.
So, for Mother’s Day, I decided to treat myself to a lovely, feminine duvet cover from a certain store that shall remain nameless, at least until you click on the link above. I was hoping to replace the light blue cover we’ve had since before James was born, the one that saw me through two pregnancies, morning sickness, baby spit-up, leaking breast milk, hormonal night sweats, and the occasional poopy diaper.
I’ll admit to being enchanted with the price, but the soft floral pattern looked so lovely in the catalog and I thought it would go quite nicely in my light, quiet bedroom. I had visions of relaxing in a room full of white, reading British novels in bed while my little boys sleep soundly on the other side of the house. And yes, the pattern’s name is also the same as mine, but that was merely a sweet coincidence.
Of course, the cover and shams are only available in the catalog and online, so one cannot view them in-store before purchasing. Thus, I was completely unprepared when the cover that did arrive looked nothing like the one pictured. Yes, it’s the same pattern (I was sure to check), but the light background is actually quite yellow and the flowers are much, much darker. In fact, the overall effect is much more tropical than I ever intended, sort of like the furniture from the set of The Golden Girls, which was set in Florida, after all.
The only possible explanation I can find for this phenomenon is the strange fact that, when photographed, the duvet cover is exactly as pictured in the catalog. I know, because I took a picture, and the results on my camera’s screen look like the cover of my dreams. It’s just in real life that the fabric is different, which is frustrating and intriguing at the same time. How can something so lovely and peaceful on paper and in my mind appear so different in real life?
And yet, isn’t that the metaphor for real life? Things aren’t always as they seem, or as you imagine they’ll be. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t lovely or perfect in their own way, and you have to work with what you’ve got. I’m pretty sure there’s a lesson here, maybe in a sort of Forrest Gump kind of way, but that’s how I feel about motherhood, too.
It’s a daily attitude that you’ve got to maintain, especially if you want to keep your sanity at times; but overall, it’s really wonderful and rewarding. Who knew I’d be the mom to two precious little boys one day? I certainly didn’t. And who knew I’d be transformed by my pregnancies and births? Again, not me.
I didn’t begin this post expecting to wax poetic about my adventures in motherhood a little over two years in, but that’s where I find myself. My visions of what motherhood entailed before I had children are so different than the reality of my life right now, kind of like that duvet cover on my bed.
The one pictured in the catalog only exists in my head, like the idea of the perfect mother I carried with me during my first pregnancy. But the cover on my bed is just as lovely and functional, and it will keep me warm for many years to come.