Friday, May 15, 2009

Take courage

Dear Cyberspace,

In the grand tradition of our family, we shall not actually speak of this, but will write it to one another for the whole world to see. (See entry: That the world will know.) Now I must set up a small mirror, so that I am talking to myself as well as you.

I'm back.

I commented on your blog that you are worrying too much about sending Ella to summer rec. A faithful reader of yours said after me, that she would feel the same way you do. Of course, she would. I think we all do. It isn't easy sending them out of our sight. At the risk of sounding like someone we both know, Motherhood is hard.

Oh, is it ever hard. It's freakish and ironic* that our purpose as mothers is to work ourselves out of our jobs. What the heck? What other career asks for that kind of commitment? If we have done our job and done it well, we will have created independent adults who are free to leave us and begin the cycle over again with their own families. And, to top it off, they owe us nothing for the experience. Nothing. We chose to bring them into this world and it is our responsibility to love and care and nurture them through it until they are able to do so for themselves.

And here's the thing that makes me nervous: Not everyone takes it as seriously as I do. Every day people are having children they don't really want and for whom they will not properly care. Then they send them out into the world with my child I have been working my butt off to raise and protect. Ah!! Why is this and what are we to do about it?!

Worry. Stew. Fuss. Send carefully worded emails. Pray for them and ourselves. Love them. Raise them. Learn to trust.

. . . Send them to summer rec. They have fun. It's a half day four days a week for five days. There is plenty of time to enjoy summer. She won't get bored. She won't get too hot. She will make friends if there isn't anyone there she knows . . . because that's the sort of loving, kind, exuberant, funny child you are raising. Let her spread her joy and care around. And, yes, she will run into kids who will need the sunshine that glows from her.

In some ways I wish I had been warned. Motherhood rips your heart to tiny, tiny pieces. Mostly, I am glad you cannot be warned because I don't think I would have done it . . . and I would have missed out.

With love and devotion,
Your know-it-all sister

* Shout out to Jeremy J.

1 comment:

  1. I think the key is, I wanted to have Grand Plans for summer where the girls and I bask in the sunshine blowing bubbles and giggling from overflowing joy and then come inside to make some organized crafts, but the reality is I won't have time and I'd get too hot.

    Summer Rec it is. There's swimming, after all.