Sunday, 27 February 2011


Sometimes I forget that I am a mother; I know it is non correct Mommy blogger etiquette to say so, but I do. Sometimes I want to forget, because there is so much of being a parent that is unfun. Silly reasons that sound petty when you list them, which can make me feel belligerent and adolescent at times, wanting to whine why meeee. Why do I have to deal with this crap when I really don't want to. And often I post on the crap days, because the need to vent and let off that head of relentless monotonous steam is strong.

What I don't do often enough is post on the days when just looking at my offspring is enough to make my heart beat harder. To feel such absolute misplaced pride that I created something so incredibly beautiful and loving. It's easy to feel it about the Possum, because he is still a baby, all nommable limbs and creampuff skin. Giant blue eyes and a heart that was built for cuddles. He's my snuggly baby bear and I often feel lucky that I am his mother.

It's harder to not rebel against being the parent of a young girl though. To look at the path of adolescence ahead and wince a little at having to watch that from the sidelines while hoping desperately that I did enough of the right things during childhood to give her a pass through it. To know the line between strict and fair, guidance and hindrance. I often feel I am too hard on my Elfling, and then not there enough or soft enough in between. It sometimes feels farcical that her upbringing has been left to me, when I still have so much growing up to do myself.

I look at her big green eyes sometimes, with lashes even longer than mine - black fringes that look almost indecent against the lustre of her skin, and I feel fear. Terrified that I am not doing enough for her. That I will be paying the therapy bills for years to come because I'm not the mother I want to be, nor the mother I want for her. And I wonder if she will ever know how many choices I made for her. How many dreams I have altered, because it was more important that she be in them. And that I don't regret any of it.

It's amazing how much perspective can be gained from a simple moment, like lying sprawled and exhausted on the couch, and watching her dance as she watches tv. Practising her arabesque using the kitchen counter as a barre while she thinks no one watches. Early morning on the weekends catching her making peanut butter sandwiches for the Possum as they sit together cuddled on the couch. Writing stories in her journals and colouring in the pictures that she makes to go with them and laughing at the school reports that say that she needs help with her "recounts".

And then on days like today, watching her pick up the paper bag of gifts from her grandparents, all long limbs and angles, feet in sparkly shoes just like mine. Twirling in the window with her head thrown back laughing at the sheer joy of being alive. And thinking that for all the things I've done wrong, and for all things I will continue to screw up, she still laughs. She still illuminates. And I swallow deep in my throat and wince a little at the sudden panic in my chest. Because one day she will leave home, and she will fall in love and be hurt. And then maybe fall in love again. And I can't (and won't) stop any of that. But suddenly it feels like it will be so soon.


Averil said...

Jenn. Woooow. That last picture...oh my god. She looks twenty.

Absolutely beautiful entry. xxxxx

cjtato said...

The Elfing is lovely! But don't they start looking oh so grown up at this age?

Miss Tween is 8 in a few months and I have no idea whether I've done one thing right in those eight years.

But she does laugh, and between that lovely pre-teen moodiness (which, by the way, I thought I had a few more years grace from. When did it become okay to be moody at 7?) she is a happy, responsible, loving, sweet young girl.

And if all else fails, there's money in her bank account for that therapy you speak of. LOL

And to think, I have THREE of them. Seriously??? Pass the wine!!!

Jenn said...

Oh we get plenty of pre-teen hormones here too cjtato! But I'm choosing to only think of the good bits (while hyperventilating into a paper bag). Three would terrify me!

Ave, just in the last year she's grown so much.

Melissa said...

That last photo took my breath away. Except for having darker hair, that is just how I imagine you at her age.

This was a beautiful post, Jenn. I understand your fear, though I have a boy. It is rushing by at such a terrifying pace, and I feel like I can barely catch my breath.


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