The Honesty of Being a MotherMonday, December 6th, 2010
I’m really tired tonight. The thing about writing a blog is that it isn’t quite the same as writing articles about “subjects”—pregnancy or family or whatever the subject may be. It is about me sitting with my thoughts and then sharing them. Sometimes these thoughts are chock full of informative and interesting information. And other times they are just a mom and a woman and a girl talking out loud.
I have shared some of these thoughts before: Alexander sleeping in the dog crate, the day we drove to the wrong airport, the day I behaved badly with the TSA agent who confiscated my 9 year old’s Lacrosse stick, and the promise I made solely to grab 15 more minutes of sleep. As just a few examples.
Today, I am thinking much about myself as a mother. I suspect in the “honorary mother club” I would not likely be a member. I sometimes watch other mothers around me and they are very, well “motherly”. Seemingly centered, strong and wise. Actually, I try not to do this too much as it merely confuses me.
The one thing about mothering that has stuck most vividly in my head has come from my wonderful and amazing and completely mad friend, Vic. I share this because I know she does not mind — which is much of her beauty. I took out her IUD in my spare bedroom some years ago and she collapsed completely drunk on her great friend and my husband when he was dying. Both quite messy but so very real and honest.
She and I were in some part of Greece with a “Greek language” pregnancy test when she found out she was pregnant with her first child. We figured out that the stick turning blue was pretty universal. About a week later she had a complete screaming meltdown on the steps of some Greek ruin and I rather notably said “you just cannot do this once you have a baby” – to which she responded “my children are just gonna have to know who their mama is”. And so be it. Today she has two remarkable 6 ft.4 in. wonderful boys who love her fiercely and who know every quirk and flaw that she has. And who respond to them all by saying “it’s just mom”.
And I find that my sweet Alexander has come to relish that his mama is not quite like others. If I have taught him anything it is that to be who you really are is your greatest gift to the world. The kitchen window broke last night by way of a dog biscuit (not easy to do). And Alexander’s response was “well, it’s gonna be cold in here tomorrow.”
No parenting book is ever going to tell you how to love your children. I no longer believe in or worry about the latest theory on child rearing. What children need – and desire – is quite simply their parents’ time and love. Mistakes will be made – but the honesty, trust and security that comes from a child knowing that they are loved unconditionally – beyond unconditionally – is what gives them their wings to fly.