Monday, May 11, 2009
A Beautiful Gift
by Amy Platon
Well it was a great weekend, yay for Mother’s Day. I used to think it was a Hallmark Holiday, but I have a new appreciation for it. My son came home with a beautiful handmade card from school. It had a poem and his hand prints. The best part of the card was how he answered the questions about me. Apparently I have “bage” hair, I’m about 40 years old and I weigh 90 lbs, and my favorite activity is ice skating. Hmm, I’m a native Floridian, and we still live here. We did do some ice skating over Christmas, but “favorite” activity? And for the record, I’m nowhere near 40. At least I think. I’d have to do the math for that one and it’s too early in the morning for all that. I am, however, 90 lbs. (Man, I can’t even say that with a straight face.)
Anyhoo, all this had me thinking, why are all those mistakes so darn cute? And ladies of the mommy sisterhood, I think I’ve got it. And let me start by first saying, I hate the pressure of the idea that requires me to “mold” my child, because that is so inaccurate. Guide, yes. But mold? The truth is that our children have as much right to walk on this earth as the rest of us do. And not necessarily in my footsteps. It is not their responsibility, or ours as parents, to force them to “fit” in with us. Their life is their adventure, and at the most we are observers. (Lucky us!)
So, what about sex, drugs and smoking, right? Well, I lead by example. So when my kids point out that someone is smoking, I say, “Yes, she is smoking. Does mommy smoke?” No. “Do you smoke?” No. “So that person is smoking, but we don’t smoke. Is that right?” Right. And because we have relatives that smoke, I usually remind my children at that time that smoking is addictive just like drugs are very addictive and once someone starts it’s very hard to quit. It’s easier to never start drugs or smoking for that reason. The lesson is that some people do things that we don’t.
So when my daughter came in from playing with her friend who is a boy, to tell me that they were pretending to have boyfriends, I said “Oh, ok.” She turned to me to say, “He’s going to have a boyfriend too. That’s weird right?” I said, “Well, no. Sometimes it happens.” The message isn’t for her to go out and have a same sex relationship, but that she knows:
1. I’m an accepting person.
2. What one person does is not what all people do.
The big lesson is that she doesn’t have to fear differences. So when we see other same sex couples out in public, she isn't going to feel confused, scared, or sick over it. It's like sweeping the path.
At the end of the day, the only thing we mothers are responsible for in the growth of our children is to help them find who they really are. To let them grow from the inside out, not the outside in. You know, keep the road clean.
And so, about the card, while being a 90 lb ice skater with beige hair is gift enough, the real gift is why those little mistakes are so beautiful. It's because they are a glimpse of the person my child really is. A glimpse of him just being him and not trying to be the person he is expected to be. Humm, what a beautiful day.
I've listed the lovely blog carnivals I'm participating in at the top right of my scroll bar. Do take a look for more stories from other bloggers there.
More Stories Like This One:
Tales from the Sidelines
Finding My Stride
Swimming In Circles