Thursday, February 13, 2014
I thought I was going to raise/rear them, instead they have been the most significant collaborators in growing me. I am grateful for the moments and ... I wish there was a way for them to see what they have meant to me.
I wasn't a kid who babysat, never thought of myself as the least bit maternal ... almost totally lacking in domestic skills even at 27 when the eldest was born. I remember when it was time to leave the hospital with this perfect helpless newborn, I told the hospital guys that I was completely clueless about child care and that sending him home with me was tantamount to child abuse. They laughed. Eventually, I figured a lot of it out ... if anything my children were over tended ... I intentional made myself not hover. Mothering didn't come naturally to me but I worked at it quite diligently. I concluded that loving them as much as I did (and that amazed me, the emotional bond) was probably going to be what I could rock ... everything else was just learning experiences. Even with them practically all grown up, I still spend plenty of time thinking about them and how I can be my best for them.
One of the things I think I've noticed about myself and some other moms who I've observed is as we "pour ourselves" in to these very significant others we seem to forget/neglect who we are or maybe should best be becoming. And, if that is true and I think it is, over time the mom becomes empty. I don't know how a young mother can monitor that, in fact, we are encouraged to sacrifice all for the building of a child-person, to do less is thought of as self-serving. At least that's been my (cultural) experience. But ... I think it's a really bad plan for any number of reasons. For one ... nobody benefits from a "deadhead" mom ... another, it is not loving to build overly entitled children (formerly known as spoiled...lol). If I had it to do over again, I would try to take better care of myself sooner . I don't know how anybody else would do that, for me it was taking on the challenge of flying. I began it right around the time this picture was taken ... and I think it was in the nick of time. So ... whatever it is that stretches and strengthens you - find it and do it - it makes you a fuller person. I don't think any of my kids are impressed with any of the stuff I do well, they take it all very much for granted, but I come to the relationship(s) better prepared to contribute.
It's starting to be time for me to spend more time with my own mom. I dread it ... really. It's always been a difficult relationship. But ... I'm thinking that a good bit of life spent with the people who are my children has prepared me better then I might expect. They taught me how to love.