Saturday, October 15, 2011

Parental Advisory

hi. Hey. HELLO! Don't ask me about the move. It's a lot. Tomorrow we finally get to unpack a few boxes! Maybe we'll find last weeks kindergarten homework that never got turned in. 

You know, from only the forth week of kindergarten. I'm pretty sure if I don't find that yellow folder and turn it in, I have somehow destroyed his entire academic career in the first 21 days.

Which brings me to this thought that I have had to wrestle with for the past few months, and particularly, the past three weeks. It's not even a thought, as much as it is a word.

Parent.

I've gone a few rounds with the definition of that word lately, plus it pokes me when I'm sleeping, and mocks me in public spaces. Like at Target tonight when I was supposed to be looking at a sewing machines and ended up buying toothpaste that comes with stickers you can put on the tube! It makes TOOTHPASTE exciting, you guys! 

(what mom doesn't enjoy letting the kids join the no cavity raffle as they leave the dentist office? Especially when the lobby has OTHER moms in it? I'm beginning to think I should have bought two tubes...)

So what does "Good Parent" mean to you? 

It didn't seem strange at the time, but when I was growing up, my parents were antique dealers. Before I was 8 that often that meant stocking shelves, greeting customers, setting up rows of baskets every morning and night, and every few weeks, 5-8 days on the road with a truck, a camper, and great big trailer, stopping at every antique mall or big red barn between here and kansas.

And this was decades before GPS was even a thought on Tom Toms mapquest! 

I am not going to say that I loved every goll darn minute of it, but I don't remember feeling like it was ACTIVE suffering. Torture. Unbearable! I liked when we got somewhere late enough, that while my dad finished loading the trailer, we could catch lightening bugs in old blue tinted mason jars. 

I liked laying on the top bed in the camper, the one that sat above the cab of the truck, we'd press our faces against the glass and pretend we were flying or running really fast. 

It's dumb, but it was fun, cause we were SO bored.

And I SURVIVED. I was not, in fact, bored to death! In fact, being raised with those experiences, and by parents who provided for our family in interesting out of the box ways, it's made me seek an interesting life for myself. So why, WHY, do I feel so guilty about what the last few weeks have been like for the kids?

I am tortured right now. This move has wrecked havoc on my boy. I knew it would be hard, but it all just went so much longer then we could have known, and here at the end, it's just gotten so hard.

I am in love with this house! With the price, with the school district, with the forest, with the layout and the closets, and the finally completed mini renovation! But it's just so big, my sleeping people all seem so spread out! 

As in, I just ordered walkie talkies to use in the backyard, but I'm pretty sure the most common phrase that will be said into them is "Jon? Can I please have an ice of glass water?" 

So tonight I'm wondering what parts of this Russell is going to remember. In the last few weeks I think I've been good parent, but as a mommy I have failed him and Alice more than a few times. Turns out, I can't do it all. I'm not sure I could even do 80 percent of "it all" on a good day, even with the right meds and a bottomless diet coke. 

Now I just need someone to tell me that's okay. That being a good Parent doesn't always have to mean sitting in one spot, never reaching for anything, or growing, or stretching your family past what makes them comfortable. 

I pray to God, who may or may not be speaking to me right now, that I have what it takes to get my people upright again. And that whether it be with structure, medication, diet and/or all the love in my body, that I can find some relief for my boy from this relentless angst that has jumped under his skin. 

I am a good parent for finding this house and pushing for it side by side with my man, now I need to be a mommy again for a while.

...

Whew! You still with me? Well, shucks, then all I have left to say is, I love you, too. And thanks.

Yes, we have a lot going on, but everybody does. Grandparents, parents, future parents, the parent word packs a lot of punch. Maybe parenting just means not quitting. 

...

And, alright already! When Jon hooks up my computer, I. HAVE. PICTURES. Sheesh, you'd think the Internet had never seen a before and after picture of a room with a bathtub in the floor...

1 comment:

Brookelyn said...

As I come up upon bringing this little girl into the world, "good Parent" is about all I can think about. I'm so under-qualified or prepared that I sit at my counselors office and cry. And you know what I'm told? That that makes me a good parent. You are allowing them to grow, even when it's not comfortable or fun. You love them and fight for them and see them individually and all they have to bring to the world. And when it's hard and you can't bring all the pieces together, because that isn't always going to be your job description, they will grow and become more than they were and you are there to guide them and love them. All flattery and love aside, I do aspire to be the kind of consistent, loving, fighting, mother, parent, and mommy that you are for your children.