Wednesday, October 19, 2011
The only thing I can say with Authority; I am no Authority!
My daughter Danielle is very familiar with blogs from her work as a publicist and was very supportive when I decided to do a blog. She offered me a lot of great advice but she kept posing the questions, what makes you an authority? Why should people listen to you? I had no answers.
I tried to explain that I do the best I can to muddle through life, and I hope and pray that my children and grandchildren will not end up telling their shrinks all the well-intentioned things I have done to scar them. The only reason people might read my blog is to be assured by my blunders, share in my uncertainty and participate in my joy. It is all a part of the process.
I tell Alexis with great sincerity that she was my “experimental child”. I really didn’t know anything about babies or children before she was born and so many things were hit and miss. She was such an easy and good-natured baby and I thought, “I am really good at this.”
Then, Danielle came along and I learned that Alexis’ easy-going nature had nothing to do with me. She showed me that I could have a baby that screamed every waking moment and never slept. The year that Danielle was born, the birthrate around me plummeted. All the mothers that knew her were fearful that they, too, could have a baby like Danielle. Danielle is still stubborn, determined and tenacious, but I learned that those same qualities that made her a difficult baby make her wonderful, too.
Five years later, when I mustered up the courage to have another child, my son proved to me that “terrible two” was NOT a myth. He was sweet and loving, but always on the go and every time I turned my back he would flush something down the toilet. On more than one occasion, I found myself in myself sitting in the front seat of my car crying while he sat safe but secured in his car seat. Whenever I thought that I had mastered a point of child rearing with one child, my other children would come along and prove that “one size fits all” answers didn’t work.
Olivia is just like her mother; she is so peaceful and happy. The other day, Alexis called and said, “Olivia threw her first tantrum.” They were at a music class and when the teacher tried to wrest a maraca out of her hands and she threw a fit. “Mom,” she said “I used to get all judgey when my friends babies threw tantrums, I guess I learned a lesson”.
My experience of parenthood is that humility is a good thing. You have to be willing to admit that you don’t always have the answers or know what to do. You can never be surprised at the challenges but always face them with love and sensitivity. I made a lot of mistakes and the only thing that I can say with authority, is that I am no Authority.
The first lesson of mother of motherhood, never, ever say, “My child would never”. I can vouch for that. They can and they do!