Sunday, May 25, 2008


I know there are bloggers who write the most excellent stories; some who compose nifty essays. I love to visit them, often. I never really do that here. Our philosophies differ as much as our talents. I report. I am a standard journal monkey. And what I love about this form is that it is so permissible. It admits regardless of quality, with no necessities of quantities, either.

This is convenient for me, one who very often tells only half a story. Who's to mind, it is only my blog. I am allowed it out without explanation, without completeness.

Half story for the day...

I almost left her there.
My daughter.
Using the terms loosely.

A long day of fun at the fair for May Day. A predictable end coming with some edginess and then the spark. Late for nap. Tired and hungry, keyed up. My son wanted to play with the seat belt she grabbed it. Siblings fought.

Tho' I had two adults, it was my show. I have never cracked the drill sargenting that others might. When the going gets tough and you need to:
Change clothes
Wash up with no washroom
Pack van
Say bye bye
Have drink
Find loveys
Get home

Do it all in the minus 45 minutes I just do it. My husband even asks too many questions and 'doesn't get it'. My septagenerian parents stand by. In awe of my anxious prattling narration of the actions for departure. My Dad might put a stroller away. My mother, plays on.

When they fought on the back deck I snatched my daughter out of it and moved her to her seat. And she yelled, "Don't". But the fighting had to be stopped. Her grandmother ran to her, consoling. Announcing that she was "tired of seeing the child bullied". And, then I yelled, "Don't, please go."

I am a bad mother on any day. But today? And, as always, from my mother.

I am agast but I really could have left her there, my daughter. Myself entirely wrapped up in the narrative that she is in fact best off a character from a Shirley Temple movie, sans maman, without family. An individual. Special. Cherished grandchild, instead. Not mine, hers.

I am her daughter. Surely I can see my mother's value(s). To disparage her is to, in some manner, deny myself any esteem.

But she can be such an amazing witch. Steeped in powers I will never understand. Whirling spells that stop me dead. Looking in horror at my own child ready to hand her over. Mom, tell me how it is. It is I am sure so simple.

I have tried, on and off, for these 3+ years to 'do it her way.' But I never do. It is actually quite impossible. I am their mother, not her. It is a psychic tussle. I will feel this pain whenever we share their time. Her burgeoning critiques, the scoffs, her playing favorites and the rapture and worship my kids give freely.

Moths to the flame.

My daughter is my mother's first grandchild and my son her last. I tell myself she is learning to be a grandparent as much as I am learning to be a parent... but today. Today I really was ready to just give her my keys and walk into a forest somewhere where the bad mothers go to drink shooters and read blogs all day.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do NOT go into the forest! Thar be pine beetle in dem der forests. And soon dey'll burn!

Oh, sweetie. I'm sorry you had a very crappy day. Sometimes I look at my parents and think, "how did I ever manage to live with you for 20 plus years but now I can not even handle 4 hours in your presence with out wanting to punch myself into oblivion?"

9:48 p.m.  
Blogger mo-wo said...

AD what is bugging me most is... it was lovely. I busted my ass to make the nice sandwiches and loosen up. Let the kids have the extras grandparents like to give. We all chuckled as they giggled and giggled and giggled their way through their first tacky amusement park rides (the flying fish).

It should have been perfect.

10:05 p.m.  
Blogger kittenpie said...

It's a funny thing, though, how the values of our parents change over time and they forget what it is to be the parent, the one responsible for all those details you were managing, manage every day. Because parenting looks simple from the outside or in the long view of the distant past, a mother seeking to be prepared and manage her children as she knows best and as she needs may look anal and bossy. But you know what needs doing, and you know what you want to teach them, and there will always be struggles between those places.

Not that it makes it easier, but I think it's common, natural, maybe necessary to help us define what we care about.

10:29 p.m.  
Blogger NotSoSage said...

I've pitched a tent. It may be empty if and when you get there, because my need for escape hasn't yet overcome my need to stick around, but there are a few more beers in the cooler after every time she visits.

To be accused of bullying, though...that's, well...let's just say that I understand.

9:28 a.m.  
Blogger Mad said...

In an ideal world, extended family would live close for the first 6 months of a child's life. After that, they should be required to move 3 provinces away.

10:55 a.m.  
Anonymous cheesefairy said...

See - I expected some crazy, non-sense-making freeverse poetry after that disclaimer. But instead, a compelling, eloquent story. You write snapshot journal whatnot beautifully and whether it feels it or not, it doesn't *read* as half a story.

I laughed in admiration imagining you as drill-sargent but I know, too, of what you speak - sometimes shit needs doing and no one else is doing it so let's go.

as such, mom's out of line.

but you know that.

moxie's addressing this dynamic all week.

8:22 a.m.  

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