2). When He Realized His Perfect Child Wasn’t Perfect
Golden Parenting Moments: Tissues or glitter sometimes required.
I’ve never given my stretch marks a second thought. After all, they’re not that big, they’ve faded over time and aren’t very noticeable, and besides, I don’t regret any of them because they mark me as a mother.
I’d forgotten they were even there, to be honest. But the other morning as I stood bent over, eye-to-stretch mark, I couldn’t miss them. And suddenly, I had a thought about how a different type of stretch mark is happening to me right now. It’s one that no one else can see, but it marks me as a mother just the same.
My oldest daughter – the OG stretch mark maker, herself – left on Thursday to go halfway around the world to perform with her dance company, The Jefferson Dancers. They’re in the South of France (Ooh! La! La!) for ten days.
It’s my heart that’s being stretched right now – and it’s going to leave a mark for sure.
If I have a daughter
to share my hands with in tightly woven spaces…
I will tell her all of the do’s
and none of the don’ts.
All of the cans
and none of the can’ts.
Despite the pressures I’ve seemed to encounter every day since my daughter was three-weeks old, I’m not ready to have another child. I’m not through loving my baby with all I got. She is my first, and factoring in my experiences with women and mothers in my life, I want to feel everything strongly as a new mom, and in the now with my daughter. I don’t want to miss a cut, a tear, a laugh, a milestone because I was preoccupied elsewhere.
Maybe my story doesn’t have to be about sadness and death. Maybe it can be the story of a girl who had great parents, was loved fiercely, and is brave enough to keep going after her world is rocked by loss and pain. Maybe my story is about having the audacity to hope.
The novice teacher had originally thought that Brownie was a wonderful idea: teach responsibility, kindness, and what else? She couldn’t quite recall anymore, because making sure that the little thing was fed and watered over the weekends was starting to get old. It was time to allow some lucky child the opportunity to acquire a pet. Let their parents handle the smell.
As I sat at the stoplight thinking of the profound wisdom resonating from the backseat, it made me wonder exactly who is the teacher and who is the student
When did we lose that childhood wonder? When do we go from curious to cynical? From thinking everything is possible, to thinking things are more impossible than probable? When does that change?
Childhood is short. But friendship, true friendship, is worth taking a pause from parenting from time to time. If nothing else, it helps teach children the importance of cultivating relationships that last beyond the time we have with them.
We’ve made childhood a race to adulthood under the guise of “enrichment.”