My 9 year old is exhausting & inspiring all at the same time.
I am completely in awe of his wit, humour & charm, but knackered at the same time, wondering how long it will be before he can fend for himself.
My mum had four kids, she worked, kept a home and was, of course, a dutiful wife while raising us, each of us were horrible unruly munchkins, expectant of our mothers services. Growing up in a traditional Indian home, we constantly had family or friends over, so most weekends disappeared with her cooking & feeding everyone who enjoyed her food, which usually meant local family that were just passing !!!
I don’t recall her ever taking time out to do anything for herself, including disappearing for hours just to find some sanity, as I now find myself doing, occasionally !!
Whilst growing up I never gave her the respect she deserved, being a confident, unruly tom boy, I thought I knew it all.
So now, when my one answers me back with the same gusto I did with my mum, I feel a pang of guilt for what I put my mum through.
Thus, I now realise, even though I knew how I felt as a young child, I knew very little about everything else. When she now gently offers me advice, regardless of whether I am seeking it or just there to be told, I listen carefully !!!!
I don’t dare complain, being a mother to 1, either to her, or to the mothers out there raising their kids. I don’t even pretend to imagine how hard it must be. I run around like a blue ass fly, determined to give him a full life in a happy secure environment that he can relish & grow, exposing him fully to as much of the world on offer whilst keeping him firmly rooted in his learned behaviours, culture & traditions.
I have, on many occasions, asked myself whether its all worth it ??
I realise thats a question which good mothers should not ask themselves, but well, my life has been invested in this little Being so I want to have all the facts at hand so I can reach my own decision.
The answer I always come back to is, YES. Watching him grow I realise, this is HIS childhood, he’s only going to have one and I’ve only got one shot of it.
I think I am saved by the fact that I have had my opportunities. I have lived my life to the full before I had him so I don’t resent sacrificing my time and any youth I may have left.
It would hurt my heart if he didn’t recall his childhood with a smile on his face or if his future wife didn’t feel blessed to be married to him. So I, like millions of you out there, sacrifice my time so that I may focus my energies to supporting his childhood. I know how blessed we are that we can witness him grow and hopefully become a remarkable, young man.
You will note I did not say that I was willing to sacrifice my Being in order to raise my son. My Being is absolutely essential and necessary to remain intact, expand & evolve as it is that which will reflect onto his soul as he grows into the young adult male, ready for become a part of this to world. As a young and free girl I failed to have any appreciation of genetics & the power of what we absorb from our own parents characters & behaviours. Elements of my parents individual true selfs have imprinted & seeped onto each of our characters as their children. It seems unavoidable, generational. The elements that are less attractive to you have to be unlearned over time.
After suffering a late miscarriage, before going on to have our son, I thought motherhood would define me, I needed to have kid(s), note the plural, in order to feel successful as a woman, normal !!
Funnily enough my husband didn’t feel the same way, when I look back now I recall him as being of the firm believe that we had so much going for our lives & futures, both individually & as a couple. If a child entered that, fantastic, but not having a child when expected would neither make or break us. That decision had been made, we were a couple and that would remain, regardless of what life brought us.
So, on losing our daughter, I felt compelled to make a pact with God, whilst lying on the hospital bed, just given birth, with her in my arms, already passed, feeling every precious second with her, knowing our time with her was running out and they were due to take her away, any minute now.
However painful it was, and believe me, it was, I humbly accepted that I, was not entitled to children just because thats what I envisioned for us, maybe I should not of automatically assumed such gifts.
I decided that if we were lucky enough to have a child I would invest myself and time into him or her, whilst I was needed and the child was ready to live fully in the world. I still live by that rule, we don’t see our son as belonging to us, he belongs to the world, his family, our community, our friends.
God has given us the purest gift of all. So, as you can imagine we don’t take this task lightly, it is the most important and difficult jobs in the world. We have taken our role to task and made certain decisions on how our son would be raised in the hope that both he and us, would eventually benefit in the knowledge that he was not only able to provide and care for himself and anyone else that came into his world but live a full and happy life, taking on the nuances with dignity & grace and clarity of mind & thought.
I take my hat off to my mum and dad for keeping us safe and raising 4 well adjusted kids. Lets hope were successful with our little man.