Monday, August 8, 2011

Sitting in a parking lot in Boothbay Harbour

This is something I wrote this morning after dropping my daughter off at her summer camp at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Stella was snoozing in the backseat and I was lost inside my head.

Pulling my fingers through the mad tangled mess of my almost seven year old's hair, I try carefully to not snag the knots and jerk back her head. She no longer trusts me to brush her hair, and I'm not surprised. I'm not the gentle sweet loving careful mother she probably needs. I try somedays to be more patient, but it takes deep breaths and a tolerance that takes work.
My daughter is a test in patience, as I am sure most near first graders are. I've wanted so long to be the patient tolerant mother, like many of my friends. To be able to be there for every adventure and to play her games with endless joy and enthusasium. For years I imagined I could be a Waldorf teacher. I could live in that soft gentle world. I could. Really. I may very well be the hardest to convince of that fact.

Truth be told- I'm a mother. Absolutely. Meaning yes, on occasion, I spit nails. I get mad. I sigh. I do, yes, punish. Mindfully, of course, and not with ill intent.  Occasional sharp words and time outs.
My daughter knows what anger looks like in my face. She's seen it before. She even knows the best tactic is to walk away. Listen carefully, heed my words, but leave me alone in it.
All mothers have frustrations, right?
Of course.
All wish their six year olds would eat all meals sitting down and chew with their mouths closed. All mothers wish their seven month old could live for five seconds sitting alone while mommy goes to the bathroom WITHOUT them. We all can wish, we all can hope- right? Right.

Somehow I have this belief that when my life becomes fulfilled I will become a much better mother. The moment I am able to make money and pay all my bills from my creative pursuits I will be the fantastic calm energetic beautiful mother of my dreams.  I will read my children endless stories and make ice cream with them and no longer stress over who might wash the dishes or scrub the toilet.
My frustrations will vanish when this occurs. And I will miraculously become the woman I've always dreamed of.
We can always dream, right?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this. I was feeling like a major toolbox yesterday for being extremely frustrated with Maggie. I can't even remember why now, I think it had something to do with party invitations, or spitting milk all over the kitchen, or throwing plates at the cat...I believe that there are no mothers out there who don't lose their patience, and if they tell you they are always gentle and composed, even when someone is shoving a sandwich back at them because it has the wrong bread, or the wrong jelly, is lying to you. We all do the best we can.