Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! It seems that my little almost two year old is very good at picking out and ordering jewelry. Those of you who know me personally have seen my first Mother's Day necklace that is a little book that says, "To the best mom" and you open it and it says "I love you." You've seen it even if you did not notice it. I wear it everyday. Now it seems I'll have to decide which necklace to wear. This year, Jack bought me a beautiful locket. I scanned it so you could see it.

It came with a little fingerprint kit and I am going to put his right index finger fingerprint in one side of the locket and I am going to see if I can manage to take a picture of him and shrink it small enough to fit the other side.

I have wanted to be a mother as long as I've remembered. It has been harder than I thought it would be but it has also been a lot more rewarding than I could have imagined!

Here's a little article that a friend sent along to me that I know you moms out there can identify with:

>> Anna Quindlen, Newsweek Columnist and Author:>>>> All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but indisbelief.>> I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, >> two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the>> same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with>> me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that >> make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower>> gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than Ilike.>> Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move >> food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I>> bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby>> is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the >> unreliable haze of the past.>>>> Everything in all the books I once poured over is finished for menow.>> Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling>> rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education,>> have all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild>> Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that >> if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories. What those>> books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught>> me, and the well-meaning relations --what they taught me, was that >> they couldn't really teach me very much at all.>>>> Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then>> becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that >> it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds>> well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a>> stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2.>>>> When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on>> his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time>> my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of >> research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this>> ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing. Eventually>> you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow.>> I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful>> books on child development, in which he describes three different>> sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a >> sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who did not walk. Was there>> something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong>> with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically >> challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China . Next year he>> goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.>>>> Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes >> were made. T hey have all been enshrined in the, "Remember-When->> Mom-Did Hall of Fame." The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad>> language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The >> times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover.>> The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling>> out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I >> responded, "What did you get wrong?". (She insisted I include that.)>> The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and>> then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all >> insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons>> for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?>>>> But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while >> doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly>> clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs.>> There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a >> quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and>> 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about,>> and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. >> I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing:>> dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little>> more and the getting it done a little less.>> >> Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and>> what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought>> someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now >> I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they>> demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be. The>> books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I >> was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound>> up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more>> than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That's what the books >> never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts.>> It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were.

No comments: