Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Answers for my Daughter

Since Mother's Day is upon us, there's all sorts of "appreciate your mom" articles in the press. One interesting article is this one: "Ten questions to ask your mother." The article, which I found on CNN, really got me thinking about what how I approach being a mom. So, I thought I'd answer the questions for boo, since she isn't really old enough to ask - or even care - about the answers. I also recognize that my answers today, when she's 7, will be different in a few years, when she's 17. But that's OK - this is a point in time reference that I don't have from my mom, but wish I did.

1. What's the one thing you would have done differently as a mom?

2 things - not hover as much and trusted my instincts more during those first few weeks. I was so paranoid when we first brought you home that I didn't even want to take you outside. As far as hovering goes, we went to the park this past weekend with your cousins. I sat on the bench while you, Haley and Jacob played on the equipment. I watched Jacob climb and slide and have a great time. He also made some great choices about not doing things because he realized he couldn't do it. Sitting there, I also observed all these other parents hovering over the kids who were Jacob's age and older. The parents were making the decisions for the kids, telling them what to do and what not to do. This is what I did for you when you were younger. I hope and pray that it doesn't negatively effect your decision making skills. You need to trust yourself.

2. Why did you choose to be with my father?

Because he's smart and funny and larger than life and really really good looking. Plus, he's a great kisser. TMI? May be - but you''ll discover there's a LOT of people out there. And the one you want to spend the rest of your life with should be as smart as you, have the ability to make you laugh when you don't want to, should make your heart flutter when you see him down the hall, and make other things flutter when he kisses you. Love is important, but trust is what allows the long haul. You'll make plenty of mistakes, think you've found "the one" before you actually do. I'll let you in on a little secret. The difference between the guys I was serious about before your dad and your dad: I thought too hard about those other guys, I THOUGHT they were the one; I didn't have to think that about your dad, I just knew.

3. In what ways do you think I'm like you?

The way you accept everyone at face value, how you get indignant when confronted with a rule breaker, your mood swings, how you want to help everyone you meet, how you think nothing of giving your friend half your sandwich because she didn't have anything, no matter what the reason is for her not having any food. I hope you don't ever change these things. Well, the mood swings are probably only going to get worse - but we'll deal.

4. Which one of us kids did you like the best?

This is one of the reasons you're an only child. :)

5. Is there anything you have always wanted to tell me but never have?

Not yet. There will be plenty of things for me to tell you when you get older. Right now - be a kid and enjoy it.

6. Do you think it's easier or harder to be a mother now than when you were raising our family?

I'm going to change this question around - do I think it's easier or harder to be a mother than when my mother was raising me.

I have a different set of problems and issues to worry about. I long for the Saturday when you say, "bye mom, see you tonight," and off you go on your bike for an adventure. I was doing that at your age. You won't be able to do that until your mid-teens. Our society as made it impossible to leave kids alone to wander around on their own. I'm sad that you won't be able to experience some of things I or your dad did when we were on our own, exploring our community.

7. Is there anything you regret not having asked your parents?

Loaded question, this one is. I guess I would like to know what they thought I would be like as an adult. Not sure they could answer that. Then again, I might not like the answer.

8. What's the best thing I can do for you right now?

You can just be a kid and learn as much as possible. NEVER, EVER let anyone tell you 1. you can't do that or 2. being smart isn't cool. There's a world I will never know because a number of the adults in my life were negative as opposed to positive about my abilities. You're smart and you know what your limits are. Believe in yourself and you'll do just fine.

9. Is there anything that you wish had been different between us -- or that you would still like to change?

Not really - you're the best kid we could ever have hoped to have.

10. When did you realize you were no longer a child?

When I realized I could run the household as well as anyone. I think I was about 9. But that's a conversation for another time.