From the monthly archives:

January 2013

This quote really resonated so much: “It’s not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.” (Ann Landers)

Today while helping my 8 year-old daughter with homework (and rolling my eyes behind her back for making me get up out of my seat 14 times in quick succession), I realized that there are a number of things a lot of us parents do to enable our children and dissuade them from being independent thinkers and doers, and therefore molding them into bewildered adults (who surely will later blame us for everything anyway).

So, here goes, kids. I hereby vow to:

–Not help you with your homework. I will CHECK your homework, but only AFTER you’ve truly made your best attempt and completed an assignment, even if it’s wrong. No one ever helped me with homework! Seriously, people.

–Not ask you what you want for dinner. I am going to make ONE meal, and you will either eat it, or be hungry.

–Not lay out your clothes, and if you walk downstairs looking like something out of Alice in Wonderland, I will smile and say ‘you look great!’

–Not tell you that every single art project, or song you sing, or math problem you do is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. Instead I will ask you questions about that neon pink clay cat: “What was your favorite part about making it?”

–Not get caught up in your every disappointment or fear. Maybe if I show you that I’m not freaked out that bad or scary things happen, you will follow my lead.

–Not go crawling around your room to find your dirty clothes and stinky socks. You can surely figure out how to get a load of laundry going, and then put it in the dryer. (You DEFINITELY will figure this out once you have no underwear or shirts to wear to school.)

–Not fix you cereal or other simple meals. And when the milk spills all over the counter, I will point you in the direction of the dish towels.

–ALWAYS, always, be here for you. To listen, to hug, to offer a shoulder, to giggle with. And to cry behind your back when you walk away from me on your way into school, giving me that ‘I’m a big kid now, Mom’ smirk and half-hearted wave.


The Irony of It All…

by admin on January 17, 2013

Was talking to Trisha this morning (her daughter Alex turned 13 today! My god…really??) and we were both teary eyed over how fast the time seems to be whizzing by now. WHY oh why does the first five years with our tiny kids go by SO slowly?? It seems like torture…we are constantly thinking about how ‘it will just be better when they’re 2…when they’re 3….oh….didn’t anyone tell you about the f*cking FOURS?!? Oh when they’re in Kindergarten you’ll FINALLY get half a day to yourself….but in FIRST grade, you will get the whole DAY…’

And now, here we stand, with one teenager, and four tweens living with us. And the time seems to be escaping us. It’s going way too fast, and we can’t help but feel melancholy about it. Our kids are excited to move forward, to get older, to do more on their own. And we agree that our purpose as parents is to give them the wings to fly. But damn….this is waaaay harder than we could have anticipated. We’re finding ourselves saying the things we know we shouldn’t to them….”I don’t want you to get any older…why do have to grow up so fast?”

It’s a cruel, cruel reality of motherhood that no one prepares you for. The irony of it all….the years you spend wishing they were self sufficient, just a little older…will come back around to bite you in the ass. And all of a sudden, you understand those weird grandmas in the supermarket who looked at your sleep-deprived face and nearly cried on top of your cranky baby, lamenting with tears in their eyes that they would give an arm to have just one sleepless night with their newborn again.

We get it now.