Saturday, January 2, 2010

Fact of life: By the time you realize what your parents said was right you will have a kid who begins to think you are wrong.

Just something I wrote a couple of weeks ago after a particularly difficult day, when I realized just how differently parents and children see things. I know that this dynamic is just the nature of the beast, but I can't help wishing my children sometimes saw how inaccurate their perception of our motives really are. Given the fact that I have very recently given birth, I may be able to chalk this up to hormones, but I still can't read what I wrote without tearing up, remembering how my older kids used to be eachother's best friend...Oh how things change when children grow up...and apart.

I see you get mad that you are having cold cereal and juice or instant oatmeal for the third breakfast this week.
I don't think you see that I was awake until 5:20am with your sister...and I've gotten exactly 40 minutes of sleep...again.

I see you get mad I made peas instead of corn at dinner...and that's your brothers favorite, not yours.
I don't think you see how I still haven't slept, but cooked my ass off tonight so that we could have a hot, hearty, family dinner together...and to make up for the cold cereal this morning.

I see you get aggravated that I chose a family movie instead of that comedy you wanted for movie night.
I don't think you see what I see on movie night...all 7 of you huddled up watching together, eating popcorn and laughing at the stupidest movie ever.

I see you getting angry that someone else's ornament is too close to yours on the Christmas tree.
I don't think you see my memories of your sister picking you up, so you can hang your favorite ornament high enough that the cat doesn't knock it down and break it.

I see you lose your patience with me for asking you to get into the shower and get ready for bed AGAIN!
I don't think you see not that long ago when you would put on your footie jammas and bring me the comb, asking me to comb your hair...and how much I miss smelling Johnson's No More Tears in your hair.

I see you have already gone to bed...
I don't think you see there was a time you couldn't go to sleep without "one more kiss and a story, mama".
(IS your mama a llama?)

I see you shove your sister across the room and make her cry because she took something from your room...or said something negative about your friend.
I don't think you see the memory in my heart of you shoving that little boy at the playground because he took her toy and made your sister cry. Or how you put your arm around her and walked with her, talking about how many different color birds there are in the world until she stopped crying.

 I see you get frustrated that I said "no" to that trip to the mall...the walk you and your friends want to take to a questionable area...the sleepover at the friends house that I don't know.
I don't think you see how lost I would be without you, if I made the "wrong" choice every time you ask permission.

I see you feel let down that I said "No" to that 200 dollar coat..100 dollar pair of sneakers...300 dollar cell phone...50 dollar pair of jeans.
I don't think you see how panicked I feel when I need to choose which bill to pay this month, and which ones I need to postpone.

I see you roll your eyes that my sneakers...coat....jeans...aren't "cool" enough.
I don't think you see how much I deny myself so that I don't have to say no to your jeans...sneakers...coat, next time.( You still don't need a cell phone)

I see you feel mistreated, unloved and that your life isn't fair because I am yelling at you to stop fighting with your sister.
I don't think you see that it's tearing me apart to watch you and your sister each hurting someone I love SO much.

I see that you wish I would stop telling you to be nicer, help out and just generally treat your sister or brother with more respect.
I don't think you see that when it all comes down to the wire, no one is ever going to love and appreciate you as much as your family.

I see you get bored with game night, and head up to your room to read instead.
I don't think you see how much your smile, your laugh and your presence is missed when you're gone.

I see you can't wait to "get out of this house and live by your own rules!"
I don't think you see I just don't know what I'll do when I no longer see you everyday, no longer know where you lay your head every night and can't protect you from the big bad world by giving you rules to live by.

I see you decline to come with us on a trip to the store or a walk down the road in favor of being by yourself.
I don't think you see how you used to jump at the chance to walk through the old old cemetery, picking up colorful leaves, and leaving peanuts for the squirrels.

I see you get angry with some decision I've made without consulting you.
I don't think you see how many things I've decided against, just to avoid hurting, upsetting or unsettling your life somehow.

I don't think you understand that I do things for your friends when they are in need, not only because of how much I love THEM,
It's because of how much I love YOU.

I see that it was easy for you to lie to me about where you were, what you were doing or who you were with, just this once.
I don't think you see the little girl in my memory that would be reduced to tears at the thought of disappointing me, even once...even just a little.

I see you don't know how much I do for, give up for, want to give and worry about losing....YOU.
I don't think I'll ever know how much I didn't see, when I was your age.

Most of all, I wish you realized that the minute I had you  I stopped thinking only of myself, and fully understood what it was to want to give someone else the entire world. And that I'm deeply ashamed that it's taken almost 40 years for me to realize all my mom did and continues to do for me.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I have read this before and it never makes me fail to have tears in my eyes.