Monday, January 22, 2007

Sleeping with Bread Monday: with Parental Joy and Sadness

In the last week, when did I experience the most joy as a parent?

There is something about your child growing to love something which you love which makes your heart bursting-full. We all experience those moments throughout the lives of our children. It might be one of the more narcissistic aspects of parenting, but nevertheless, I believe it is a universal parental feeling. I had one such moment this week. Marley had drawn a picture of the earth, the moon and an alien in a spaceship. She wanted to share it at school and in order to do so, she was required to write about the picture. Here is the picture and her words (as is and then translated into grown up English.)

(If you hold a lungful of air, you can survive for about 30 seconds.)

This may not have any meaning for most people reading this. I, however, experienced a moment of pure, unadulterated, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-frenzied joy. This--this is MY daughter, without a doubt! (My husband probably would feel a similar sense of joy if he read my son's latest book project for his English class. He read a biography of Jimi Hendrix and stated that he chose the book because Jimi Hendrix is his favorite singer and guitar player.)

In the last week, when did I experience the most sadness as a parent?

There is something sad about persistent maladies and the impact they have on your children. Tonight, as I was trying not to lose my cool while I proofread my son's book report, I was getting a little testy. It isn't unusual for me to get frustrated when he has a project due--that could, and probably will, be a subject of an entire post. He was cooperating, though, with my suggestions. The work wasn't bad. I shouldn't have been as irritated as I was feeling. At one point, I asked my son to please turn out the dining room light. It was hurting my eyes. "Oh great," he exclaimed, "you're getting a migraine when I have a project to finish!" Well, so far, the actual migraine hasn't shown up. The pre-migraine crankiness and light sensitivity has, though. Those symptoms aren't a guarantee that a migraine will show itself, but it makes me sad that my son would know the symptoms and recognize, before I even do, that one might be coming. With a migraine, he recognizes that he will get to experience his mother being cranky, his having to help take care of her and his having to be responsible for an uncooperative little sister. It doesn't sound like a lot of fun, does it?

Thanks for joining me today!

P.S. I wrote this last night and dated it today because I knew I would be busy this morning. Later, in the wee hours of the morning, I wrote an entirely different sort of "How I'm Doing" post over here at my family blog. It ain't pretty but somehow, in the name of emotional honesty, I felt like I needed to disclose it here.

Also Sleeping with Bread this week:

Pam over at MarillaAnne
Sheila at Musings of a Mommy
atypical of nonsensical text


Aliki2006 said...

I'm sorry you have a migraine coming...your perspective helps me understand what Tessa goes through, though--I sometimes wonder about the symptoms she has before one strikes.

Thanks for your kind comments in my blog--I'm off to take a look at what you e-mailed me! :)

V-Grrrl said...

We hate when we're not the physically or mentally perfect parents we want to be, but your son is learning something valuable--how to be in tune with other needs and rise to the occasion when needed. He's learning life isn't all about him or his book report and I hope appreciating that even though you were testy, you were helping him despite not feeling well.

Sheila said...

I played today :) I love your Marley story!

MarillaAnne said...

I'm not surprised your son noticed before you did. You were focused on your son. He was focused on you.

Thanks for including me in your list of participants. I got my "Sleeping with Bread" post up and then found out that Kelli ended up with 18 months of insurance coverage. I got more than a little rattled.


blackdaisies said...

oh, i love this post, so beautifully written and heartfelt filled with your truths ...

edj said...

grr...once again my lovely connection lost my comment before it posted. Sigh. Ok a rewrite:
I love the Marley story. I love these kind of parenting moments, and have had quite a few of them lately as Ilsa has been inhaling books like I did at her age (and still do). I know it's not ideal that Colin has to deal with more reponsibility, etc, when you have a migraine, but look on the bright side--you are preparing him for adulthood, helping him be the kind of man that knows how to help others in need, etc. (Your future daughter-in-law will thank you ;) Great post, Mary.