It was a typical Sunday afternoon. We’re home from church, lunch has been devoured. Michael decided to make some homemade mango ice cream with the girls. Our boys, however, were in the living room, blasting music from my ipod. They were playing air guitar to Metallica, Beastie Boys, rapping to X-Clan and other bands that cause us to run over to the player and mute out the occasional profanity.
I study them but they don’t realize that I am studying them.
Monsters, I wonder. We have created little monsters. They are just like us.
And the thought occurs to me that they have been the ones studying us all these years. A cold sweat broke out across my forehead.
What were we thinking? Creating little people who are just like us?
We should have taught them all how to play the violin, the piano…something. They should have immaculate table manners. They should be fluent in at least two languages. They should’ve been taught calculus in 3rd grade. The boys should not have long hair. Crew cuts all around! The girls should know how to sew their own denim jumpers. The boys should know how to build a car from spare parts. Maybe by the age of 15, the girls should take up the practice of midwifery.
Whoa whoa whoooooooooooooa.
I just may have been watching a little too much 19 Kids and Counting on TLC. You gotta love them Duggars.
When you first become a parent, everything is poopy diapers, lugging around car seats, debating why breast is best, making your own baby food and making sure you don’t encourage unhealthy habits like thumb-sucking and pacifier dependency. You are blinded to the stone cold reality that you–YOU!–are responsible for shaping a healthy, normal human being, solidly equipped for life.
And your biggest obstacle is….you.
When your children grow a little and develop their own personality and sense of free will, their humanity will hit you in the face one day. And it’s gonna be painful. Your parenting flaws will be glaringly apparent. I’d say I’m right in the thick of it. The chil’rens ages range from 4 to almost 13. If nothing else, this stage of my mothering is bringing me to my knees with a quickness.
My consolation comes with the thought that God made us all strikingly different. He called you to be the type of mother that you are, just as He called me to be the mother that I am. As much as I’d love to be one of those tightly scheduled, peppy (cuz she jogs while pushing her baby in their stroller), disciplined, super organized and cheerful mama’s who never yell…alas, I will never be her.
God gave me strong vocal cords for a reason. It would be a waste not to use them.
At the end of the day or at the end of my mothering journey–whichever comes first–I gotta have faith that I’ve done all that I can do with what I’ve been given. Faith in the notion that my children will be free to love others, that they’ll be able to make their way in this world…and most importantly, that they will light up the darkness.