Breaking Your Mothering Vows
We all have been there and before we really became entrenched in this whole mothering thing, may have even espoused publicly, “I would never do that”. Ahhh, the danger in the “I never’s”. A slipper slope that propels us even further and more rapidly into a life that is far from the one we envisioned for ourselves. With each child, the evidence builds and suddenly you are a sheepish version of yourself. I find myself explaining away my present and future possible decisions that feel now as they are the right ones. My contradictions are not always in my thoughts but rather in my truth. The person at my house that vehemently spoke out against television and growing organic foodies. I’m still in the early stages of parenting and yet, I feel myself crossing to the other side. Always learning but our acknowledgment phase of ignorance still developing and so we must navigate our own way across this vast divide known as parenting.
My thoughts were triggered this morning by a mother who shared photos and tales from her own lovely adventure. Yes, it appeared that she and a friend had travelled an hour or so out of town for a day of trains. Not just in the realm of my own comfort zone, perhaps looking at them, going on a ride, signing up to meet our favorite Thomas. Of course, I have done of these things but they are on my radar of being a good mother and for me always possibilities in my realm of acknowledged truth. No, these moms logged 200 miles in their car after meeting the engineers and spent a long morning following trains. I beg you to stop your mind from getting hung on the possible dangers of this activity as I have no idea either. That is the point I’m making, even if it took too long. I have no idea as this is the type of thing I would have refuted as a possibility for myself, even a couple children into my role as parent.
It’s not just about the X-Box that sits in plain view in our den. No, or about the boxes of Fruit Loops and Coco Puffs. Those are just humorous reminders of why we should keep our perfect parent mouths shut. I’m thinking big things, at least the things for me that I would never have considered until my baby bear expressed an interest. For my oldest, I answered hours of questions. Not one to play with toys ever and still against TV in those days, I was left to talk and talk and talk. My next son adored critters from the get go and suddenly, I spent my afternoons seeking snakes and holding them while he ran for a tupperware enclosure. My daughter has taught me to expect little of what I thought of when I considered having a girl. She herself bucks against my expectations and so, I remain neutral to the jersey she pilfers from her brother’s drawer and wears proudly to school. Instead, she longs for physical touch and lots of cuddles, and like my own own mother, I am often touched out. I venture from my comfort zone and load her sprawling self into my lap to watch a terrible Disney show and shoo away the younger brother who feels he owns me and my personal space and attention.
Yes, two year old Amos has been the teacher that has made me a better parent because despite my best efforts, he has not met the expectations I had for each of my children. He has followed his own path and I think back to the time when age was still measures in weeks and I longed for him to smile. He was 12 weeks old and I remember the joy that came as he learned to share his evident joy with the world and me. For him, I will chase trains and do all the things that I perhaps encouraged beneath me or my style of parenting, the off sides participant. I should have known those thoughts and words would come full circle. They always do and aren’t I so thankful to be proven wrong in an area of such consequence, my role as mother, parent, the best and brightest hat I could ever wear.