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I have a tendency to unconsciously appropriate other peoples' affectations, leading me to say things like y'all.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Blogger Envy

This morning (like any other) I got to my desk at work and started reading blogs. (No, my employers don't know that they are basically paying me to do on-line reading all day.) My favorite blog ever is Dooce, but I force myself to go in alphabetical order, delaying the inevitable brush with the amazing that is Heather B. Armstrong. Heather and her blog are the reason that I started my blog. I realized that I needed a place to put some of the things in my head that I didn't necessarily understand the value of in the short term, but that I hoped one day would explain something about the little inner battles that have led to the person I am and will be. I also needed to see *on paper* that life is good even in the dark times and so far it's been working out that way.

Every month, Heather writes a letter to her daughter (yes, I totally copied that idea from her) just sort of summarizing the achievements and landmarks since the last letter. They are amazing letters. They're funny and honest and always get me all misty-eyed. The thing that always catches me off guard though is how much better a mom she seems than me and how envious I feel afterward. Now I know that's sort of ridiculous. I know that when Sophie was 2 years old I probably thought the same way about my time with her that Heather does about time with her own daughter (who turned 2 just this last weekend), but still I feel so craptastic when I realize (again) that Sophie is getting older and I'm not enjoying every moment as much as I should. This morning I was reminded that before I know it Sophie will be a teenager and our relationship will be so different and instead of indulging her current (moments of) fixation with me, I point out to her that we're different people and that she's suffocating me. Is that terrible? I don't know. She's happy and astute and super smart. She seems undaunted by my periodic insanity. For a child with 3 parents she is totally adjusted and has never had a single setback in her emotional/intellectual development. I have no reason to feel like I'm not doing good enough by her. And yet, on the occasional night when she's been difficult to commute with and she wants me to read her a book, and I'm anxious for her to get to sleep, I'll say no and then feel like a shit for the next hour.

I really worry that when she's a young woman she'll see me in much the same light that I saw my own mother. Unreliable, self-centered, weak. I'm 30 and only now taking the time to get to know the woman my mother actually is. So far she's turning out to be a pretty cool person and I'm understanding that I've spent so many years wound up in suffering and confusion that I never once gave her a chance to stand out as herself or sound like herself and to a degree that's been my fault. That's not to say there aren't unhealed places in the past, but it's taken too long to stop picking at the scabs.

I don't want that for my daughter, but I can't predict that in 16 years she'll see me like she does today. Strong, loving, selfless, amazing. I want her to be proud that I'm her mom and that's not for my ego, but because I wish that she'll feel about me then like I do about her now. She rocks. She totally fucking rocks. If there is anyone I'd rather be, it's definitely Sophie.

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