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Entering the middle school auditorium to attend my daughter's first band concert, I felt dread. The bleats and honks coming from Laura's clarinet recently had not been encouraging. I was sure the next 45 minutes would be painful.

Maybe I should have paused before I judged, and remembered the many times I've been wrong about what I will and won't enjoy about motherhood. For example, I was once sure I'd love doing crafts with my toddler, exploring parks with my preschooler, reading stories out loud and cooking nutritious dinners for an appreciative family. Conversely, I was positive I would hate organized sports where parents had to sit on the sidelines and feign interest in what the kids were doing. A few weeks into motherhood, as I paced the house on another broiling summer day, holding squalling baby Laura, I thought, "This is awful! There are no stories! It's too hot to go outside! Was I wrong about...everything?"

Not everything. But almost.

Crafts? Please! I wasn't crafty before kids, why did I think some creative gene would appear once I had them?

Stories? When I picked it was sweet. When they chose the same oh-please-not-again Maisy or Dr. Seuss book for the 300th became torture.

Dinners? The fact that I only like to eat about 10 items and can only cook about five meals means, I'm a boring and unoriginal cook. No one enjoys my meager culinary efforts.

Sports? I was wrong about sports. I love cheering my kids on!

The parks? I was right for once! But overall, I should know better than to believe I possess any sort of radar concerning what I'll enjoy as a mother.

Back to the concert. There I was, dreading what was coming: pimply, awkward middle schoolers painfully squawking through an unidentifiable repertoire. Then the lights dimmed and the curtain rose; I heard recognizable music. I sat up straighter. Oh, wait. This was the 7th and 8th grade band. They had some skill. Laura was in 6th grade, so their part came next. Those ugly-duckling sixth graders had undeniable grace. They were dressed up! You couldn't see their acne and they weren't a bit awkward as they played. They were...beautiful. And the music was good! They were doing this thing and doing a fine job!
I don't usually like being wrong. But I've never been happier to be wrong than I was at the middle school band performance.

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Pouches' Community Corner

Postpartum Support Virginia

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For new and expectant mothers in the Fredericksburg area, Postpartum Support Virginia stands as the help and support for women and their families who are experiencing postpartum depression. Founded in 2009 by Adrienne Griffen, Postpartum Support Virginia offers one-on-one support, free peer-led groups, a robust site of information including screening and diagnosis overviews, fact sheets, and training sessions.