I recently learned about a Mom who paid for her daughter's years and years of ice skating lessons by collecting 5 cent can/bottle deposits in her spare time. She scouted parks, dumpsters, etc. in order to gather up the funds she would need to help her daughter make it to the Olympics - her daughter's ultimate goal. And make it to the Olympics this girl did --- thanks to Mom.
That story is an example of what Motherhood means to me --- doing whatever it takes to help your child to be the best that he or she can be --- no matter the effort, the sacrifice, the humiliation (picking cans out of dumpsters), etc. --- as the rewards are well worth every effort made.
Now, please don't confuse my sentiments with those who put their childrens' needs so far ahead of their own, that they lose themselves in the process. That is not good for anybody, including the child ... and is not what I am suggesting here. But to make honest, loving, well-thought out, and well-managed efforts in order to do what is best for your child and your family ... that is the beauty of parenthood to me.
So - when I was recently sitting at our local Denny's Restaurant with my husband and child - and overheard a mother talking to her friend about why her latest man dumped her - because he didn't want to be with someone who had a child - and said child was sitting right there listening to the entire conversation - hearing her mother describe the burden of motherhood --- well, I just wanted to slap that mother. How dare she make her child feel like an imposition! Where is the parenting effort here? What made her think that this was an appropriate conversation for her child to hear? Did she think of her kid at all? Can people seriously be so self absorbed that they cannot manage to think about their own babies? I know that the answer is yes --- but it never ceases to baffle me.
Isaac is the greatest gift of my life. How could I not work every day to be worthy of such a wonderful gift? He is also the greatest gift that I can leave to this world. How could I not make sure to raise him up in love, self-confidence, and as much wisdom as I can impart? Most importantly, Isaac is his own greatest gift. How could I not remind him daily of how wonderful he is and how much brighter the world is for his presence? To insult him or dismiss him is unthinkable to me ... and to most of the wonderful mothers I share my life with.
Now look, I am not worthy of the "Mother-of-the-Year" award, I am certain --- (maybe a close runner up :) --- so I hope I am not coming off arrogant here. But darn it all --- there are ways to raise kids up in happiness and self-confidence --- and I am beginning to lose patience for those who don't seem to make the effort to do so. I seem to have eyes and ears for "bad" parenting lately. For some reason, I am seeing it everywhere --- and it pains me.
But then there are those who dumpster-dive to raise money for their child's skating lessons. Those Moms make me smile. They remind me that the greatest "occupation" in the world is that of a Parent. I love my job ... and "I shall try to be worthy of my post" (Quote from Disney's Peter Pan).
Please comment :)
P.S. I call this post "Part 1 of ___" because I have made some other Motherhood observations that I wish to share and discuss with you all.
P.P.S. My son starts private swimming lessons next week, and I am seriously considering doing some dumpster diving of my own. With all the fairs we have around here, should take me no time to score some funds for lessons :)