And for once I was SuperMom

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Their Own People

"I don't have a stop sign," I throw both hands up off the wheel and inform the truck that just pulled slowly in front of me at a four way intersection.  I hear a sweet high voice from the back,
"I don't have a stop sign."
There it is.
Been waiting for that.  For the day when our trash talking to other drivers catches up to me.
They are little reflections of us aren't they?

Emma has taken Carys's arrival a bit hard.  There has been more opposition, more crying, and more emotion.  From both of us.  I think Emma has my emotional constitution.  Dramatic.  Socially conscious.  I think she doesn't even know why she feels the way she does.  I mean, she's two, but her behavior of striking out in general rather than taking it out on the baby tells me that maybe she just doesn't know why, but she's not happy.  I often find myself grumpy and don't know why, I've learned to dig around and figure it out, but I'm thirty.  She's got some time.
I know that Carys is only a month old, but she is calm.  As calm as a forgotten tarn on an ancient mountain.  She hasn't really cried too much yet, just squirms and grunts.  I've decided that she must take after Scott, with his truly stable demeanor.  I was telling Scott this, he looked up at me and said,
"You know that they're their own people, right?"
What?  No.

While my sister was here helping me with my new baby and my two year old she laughed one morning as Emma twirled in a circle and declared,
"I'm a princess!"
"I think it's funny that you ended up with a kid who loves pink and princesses," she said.  I almost wanted to say 'thank you.'  My feminist hackles go up a bit every time she does it, and I start to feel that somehow I have failed.
Before I had kids I judged parent's who lived vicariously through their own children.  Enrolling them in sports that they always wanted to play, or dressing them how they wanted to dress.  It's an easy vortex to fall into, this desiring for your child.  This forcing of success on  your children, a mastering of your failures.  Hoping that if you give them better options, options that you may have wanted that they will do better than you.

Hopefully I can step back, I can stop looking at their gene pool to explain them.  I can just enjoy them for who they are.  I can open my hands and allow them to be who ever they are going to be.  While they are little reflections of us, our behavior, our tendencies, they are they're own people.  Whether I like it or not.  So maybe I'll enroll her in ballet rather than the gymnastics classes I was envisioning.  If she's built anything like me she'll be better off in soccer...but I think I'm going to have to let her figure that out herself.


mel said...

Your driving story reminds me of one with my grandma and cousin years ago. So my cousin was in the carseat, grandma driving and another car cuts us off in our lane. My grandma says "Stupid guy." In the backseat my baby cousin chants "stupid guy, stupid guy..." But you see the problem is that her dad's name is Guy! My grandma and I do everything we can to get her to stop and hope that she never ever said it at home after visiting his inlaws house, haha.

JLove said...

Amen! Just wait till Emma asks why about everything you say while driving... "Why did he cut you off? Why is she a bad driver?" Annette's newest is asking what the speed limit is. Talk about keeping us in line! And by the way, I think you are an amazing mama :) I love watching you parent and talking parenting with you. It challenges me!