Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
My daughter isn't nearly this old, but I can definitely identify with the mom's point of view.
We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family."
"We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"
"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.
"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations..."
But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.
I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.
I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.
I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.
I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.
I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.
However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother. Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years-not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.
I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor. My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.
I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving. I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues, but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children's future.
I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.
My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I finally said. Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings. This blessed gift... that of being a Mother.
Please share this with a Mom that you know or all of your girlfriends who may someday be moms.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I loved you enough . . . to ask where you were going, with whom, and what time you would be home.
I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover that your new best friend was a creep.
I loved you enough to make you go pay for the bubble gum you had taken and tell the clerk, “I stole this yesterday and want to pay for it."
I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your room, a job that should have taken 15 minutes.
I loved you enough to let you see anger, disappointment, and tears in my eyes.
Children must learn that their parents aren't perfect.
I loved you enough to let you assume the responsibility for your actions even when the penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.
But most of all, I loved you enough to say NO when I knew you would hate me for it.
Those were the most difficult battles of all.
I'm glad I won them, because in the end you won too.
And someday when your children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates parents, they will say...
Was your Mom mean? I know mine was.
We had the meanest mother in the whole world!
While other kids ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast.
When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches.
And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was different from what other kids had, too.
Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times.
You'd think we were convicts in a prison.
She had to know who our friends were, and what we were doing with them.
She insisted that if we said we would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.
We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work.
We had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, empty the trash and all sorts of cruel jobs.
I think she would lie awake at night thinking of more things for us to do.
She always insisted on us telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
By the time we were teenagers, she could read our minds and had eyes in the back of her head!!
Then, life got really tough!
Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk the horn when they drove up.
They had to come up to the door so she could meet them and ask questions.
While everyone else could date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were 16 or 17.
Because of our mother, we missed out on lots of things other kids experienced.
None of us have ever been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other's property or ever been arrested for any crime.
It was all her fault.
Now that we have left home, we are all educated, honest adults.
We are doing our Best to be Mean Parents just like Mom was.
I think that is what's wrong with the world today.
It just doesn't have enough mean moms!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
I thought it might be fun to write at the very beginning of my blog what I want to do with it. :)
I'd like to entertain with funny anecdotes I run across on the net or in e-mail. My mom (HI MOM!) has a good source.
I'd like to share pieces of my papercrafting~ I scrapbook, stamp and alter various things (wood, metal, plastic, you name it!).
I also want to share my new obsession, digital scrapbooking! It's so addicting because it combines 2 things I love to do. :D