Monday, May 21, 2007

Sleeping with Bread: Feeling a Little Rushed

(In a rushed, out of breath, too fast voice...) I'm having a total caffeine buzz plus there are only so many consecutive months I can go without doing some serious housework and I'm feeling like the jig is up and I really, really must do something about it so maybe I should take advantage of my caffeine buzz and do some chores around this house but I have to (want to) do my SWB post first so here goes:

After last week barely being able to force myself to write my SWB post, I was that down in the dumps I am happy to say that in the last week, I have found joy in. . .


those bloomin' jacaranda trees. Every Spring the jacarandas bloom in this town and they are so beautiful that I can't help but feel my spirit lifting. You might see one here or there and then come across a street lined up for blocks with purple trees. The lovely purple blossoms are especially welcome this year because we've had very little rain and I've not had my "the hills are alive with the sound of music" joy. When we've had lots of rain, the hills which surround me become a newborn green, lush and striking against the blue sky and white clouds. On years where there has not been enough rain, the words of the local university alma mater make more sense: "hills like tawny lions." It is an apt description and much more poetic than saying ugly brown hills. I did realize this year that I feel somewhat territorial about my town's trees. There are so many here that I think of them as belonging to my town. Recently as I've seen them scattered here and there in the neighboring towns, I've felt a little miffed. Excuse me, don't you know those trees are for me and my town?

An offset to the lift in spirit God's colorful handiwork has brought me is the sad realization I had this week while dining with a friend. . .

I have a deep, deep certainty that my children are going to feel emotionally estranged from me when they grow up. When you read the words deep, deep certainty, please know that I don't know this. It just feels like I know it. Let me explain. My friend and I were at dinner and the subject of teenagers not liking their parents came up. Her youngest is 18 and she said to me that kids work their way back to liking their parents as they grow up. This is probably a statement that is fair and somewhat accurate. But for some reason, when she said it, I had a flash. First, that I fear my children will grow up and not want to be around me, will not like me, will struggle with their feelings toward me. Next, I had another flash of why I feel that way. Of course, I cannot (actually I could but I will not) go into detail about the why of all this. Anyone with an ounce of imagination will be able to figure out the basics. I feel like I am taking something of a risk in even saying this much, but I don't think the parties involved read this. Also, it was such a strong revelation, the recognizing of this undercurrent in my parenting, a vague sense of dread I feel deep down so much of the time. It is my truest desolation this week and I just didn't want to opt for something other in this space.

The consolation in this though, is that having realized this, I can process it. Hopefully, I will be able to counter this dread certainty with some light and truth. While it is possible that my children will experience some of what I have described, it is certainly not a given and probably not very likely. (That doesn't sound as optimistic as it really does feel to me.) I am not a perfect mother. I have, in dealing with my own struggles, sometimes done things for which I need to be forgiven. But I am a good mother--or, as someone (whose blog name escapes me at the moment) recently wrote--a good enough mother.

7 comments:

Sheila said...

You are a good mother. (Perfect mothers do not exist, and those women who try to be perfect usually fail.) You are also a good friend, and I am thankful for you!

atypical said...

Those flashes...yeah. May I just say that such flashes are often scarier than the creepiest of horror fiction?

I am here to make a prediction. I predict that you, my fellow worrier, will find grace and peace along every road you travel in this parenting journey. Sometimes it might be well hidden, but little flashes of it when the light is just right will keep you strong.

Yes, my friend, you are certainly "good enough!"

-t (the preachy one) ;)

Mel said...

The crabapple trees are in bloom here--and they're the source of lighter walking. They're just plain pretty.

There's something really 'normal' about that underlying fear about parenting 'good enough'.

I remind myself over and over again that they're simply 'on loan'.

atypical said...

And, by the way, it's Omegamom who hails herself as "good enough."

daisies said...

we have beautiful blooms everywhere today and this morning on my way to the pool, their fragrant scent tickled my nose :)

i have these fears as well with my son, with the ways that i have failed him and can only hope that the times i get it right will make up for the times i get it wrong ... we love and somedays that is likely the most important part of the equation ... sending you a warm hug ...

daisies said...

we have beautiful blooms everywhere today and this morning on my way to the pool, their fragrant scent tickled my nose :)

i have these fears as well with my son, with the ways that i have failed him and can only hope that the times i get it right will make up for the times i get it wrong ... we love and somedays that is likely the most important part of the equation ... sending you a warm hug ...

Mary-LUE said...

Thanks you guys!