Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Reckless Mothers

When I reflect on my quality of parenting the scab I pick at most is of a basic form. Variations on the theme: risk, isolation, change, recklessness. I have to get off book more I think. I have to stop punishing myself because of the elusiveness of control. They are not bad children and I need not perfect them. Perfect parenting is a cruci-fiction.

On Friday I walked the two kids to school, about a block. It was a struggle and a triumph. I was stressed with my little guy by the hand and his sister free to run off and on all around our street, down the new park sidewalk where we inspected two backhoes and a digger. I was afraid. They were at risk. More than when I take them in the wagon on contain one of the two in a stroller. They could fall. A car could...

I look at moments like these with contempt convinced that, in fact, this has much more to do with stroller salesmen, such as they are, than with me. Still, I resent the knowledge I am a pretty easy mark.

We did it. All parties visibly enamored of the outcome of freedom and independence. This is it, I realize it now. The scabs, scraped knees even the dangers are the point. It is what I embrace and want for them. I have, of late, managed to let go of their birth. I have till now fully worshiped their coming to me. The separation of our bodies and those brief moments in which they were pure and new.

I see the stains (sorry to sound so New Testament about this) and am delighted. I am now suddenly open to their errors. Dreaming not of what has been but instead of the deep blessings (see there I am at it again!) of their having a future I can see. Imagining how when she is 14 covered in pimples and feeling insecure I might be the only one in the world to see deep inside. The one to say, as my mother did, you are so beautiful, if only you could realize. Knowing no matter she is as beautiful as that day she was born. I will sneak a hand hold of the little big guy when the little part drops. I will embarrass him, and enjoy it.

I don't know where I get this sort of wisdom.. but it feels good. I guess it comes from lots of places. Including the chance to move myself to dust off my dress shoes and look into the eyes of reckless mothers I know. To think a little about how I am different from them and vice versa. To move to common ground -- and that ground is spotted with a cheap merlot and some nerds. Reckless mothers might be the best kind? Who knew?

Last night I saw..

Bite My Cookie and THE Girl's Gone Child right here in Vancouver. Me and the radiant and clever CC went to the book event and hooked up. Wicked!

Only thing better is to follow up with a free afternoon to go read her book.
A hoot and bite with a real cookie? How lucky am I?

Thinking of you Chickies next time I see Anthony's bony ass dart across the club.

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Blogger kittenpie said...

I'm glad you hooked up with them! I was thinking of you as they headed your way. lucky you.

And it is a hard line to balance sometimes, the reckless and the protective instinct. I try to push for mo0re reckless, because I am bhy nature cautious and I see Pumpkinpie becoming more so, whereas I was delighted with her more free spirit when she was younger, the fearlessness with which she took on the park.

4:33 p.m.  
Blogger Lumpyheadsmom said...

I'm so jealous of them. They got to meet you!

6:53 a.m.  
Anonymous cheesefairy said...

How reassuring it is to feel that wisdom wash over you - I can feel it when you write it.

Yesterday I was watching my newborn scream and feeling again that "protect the small thing" panic - what if it's illness X, what if it's random bizarre thing Y? - and then reminding myself it's probably nothing, babies scream, and I look at his brother, hale and hearty and huge beside him, a boy I had the same feelings about not 2 years ago.

S'funny. And all in aid of getting to the place of reckless grace you describe.

7:10 a.m.  

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