Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ode to Motherhood Part 2 (of 3) : I'm no Tiger Mom, but I'm no sheep.

...Continued from "Ode to Motherhood Part 1: Call me what you want; they call me MOM."

My daughter, "Spit-fire" trying to do a headstand with me. Age 18mos.

 My own mother, someone I only see once a year or two, said something that has stuck with me after
"Bub" 7days old on a college football held by his dad
my third child was born: "They are so self-sufficient, non-needy and  independent. That means they get enough." They. Get. Enough. For all my faults, all the mistakes I own, none of which kept secret like your own may be, I will not ever allow a negative word about my mothering (unless from them, later in life, which I'm certain of which there will be many, who am I kidding?)

I do not, have not, and will not raise my voice. I validate their fragile and fickle emotions in little, easily missed moments. I use almost any situation as a teaching moment. I always listen.

I build them up, but I have always been honest. I'm that mom who won't let them win just to "Be nice." I know now, more than ever, that life will not participate in that farce. I am very fair, but I do not pump them with false praise or meaningless participation ribbons. Is parenting not to prepare them with the best and most valuable tools and rules of life?

Instead, I ask "Hmm..I love the colors, and your effort, what is that ?" where others may say: "Wow! It's beautiful!" as canned as they say: "How are you?"darting off, without waiting for a response. I believe monumental memories in a childhood are when a boy beats his dad at H-O-R-S-E with a hoop and ball in the driveway. A man can remember the first time he truly threw a spiral to his dad. If all his fumbling tosses were praised, is that small feat as distinguishable?

I believe that NOT telling my oldest daughter she was "awesome" at every sport was fair and honest. She would lay prostrate on a soccer field. She'd pick flowers behind right field in t-ball. She has zero interest in competition, unless with her little sister. That was difficult, I was patient -not an easy task for me. Her greatest trait is compassion.

Oh, but when she truly started singing? A falsetto purity that is chill-inducing? I went bonkers. She trusts me. Her own instincts more qualified and she understands a fundamental life fact: you won't be good at find your "thing." And find it she did! 

I have been blessed enough to have female friends of varying ages and culture. The empty-nesters remind me how soon I will be smelling their pillows when they go to college or begging my twelve year old son to hold my hand. That is not lost on me.  I do not complain. Instead I try to relish the small things, revel in the beauty of this little brood I made and bore, and get challenged by daily if not hourly, and I feel only gratitude. I feel convicted to serve, protect and love them ferociously.
I am more things than you'll ever know. I am too much to handle. I am flawed but fearless. I am lost and I have lost so much, but these four words stand sturdy: I am a mother. 

Find the last compartment of "Ode to Motherhood Part 3 of 3" HERE.
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